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Atomic Mechanism of Arsenic Monolayer Doping on oxide-free Silicon(111)

  • Roberto C. Longo (a1), Eric C. Mattson (a1), Abraham Vega (a1), Wilfredo Cabrera (a1), Kyeongjae Cho (a1), Yves Chabal (a1) and Peter Thissen (a2)...


The reaction pathway for shallow arsenic doping of silicon by methylarsenic acid molecules directly grafted on oxide-free, H-terminated Si(111) surfaces is unraveled combining Infrared absorption spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Low Energy Ion Scattering and ab initio Molecular Dynamics simulations. The overall driving force is identified as a thermodynamic instability of As+5 in contact with silicon, which initiates a self-decomposition of chemisorbed methylarsenic molecules at ∼600 K. As the temperature is increased, the As-C bond breaks -- the weakest link of the adsorbed molecule -- with release of the organic ligand and a rearrangement from a monodentate to a bidentate bonding configuration. In this process, oxygen atoms evolve by partial desorption as H2O and partial incorporation into the surface Si atom backbonds. At ∼1050 K, diffusion of As into the sub-surface region of silicon is observed. There is no evidence for As desorption and no remaining C contamination.


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