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Atomic Force Microscope Observation of Growth and Defects on As-Grown (111) 3C-SiC Mesa Surfaces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2011

Philip G. Neudeck
Affiliation:
NASA Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Road, M.S. 77-1, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA
Andrew J. Trunek
Affiliation:
OAI, NASA Glenn, 21000 Brookpark Road, M.S. 77-1, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA
J. Anthony Powell
Affiliation:
Sest, Inc., NASA Glenn, 21000 Brookpark Road, M.S. 77-1, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA
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Abstract

This paper presents experimental atomic force microscope (AFM) observations of the surface morphology of as-grown (111) silicon-face 3C-SiC mesa heterofilms. Wide variations in 3C surface step structure are observed as a function of film growth conditions and film defect content. The vast majority of as-grown 3C-SiC surfaces consisted of trains of single bilayer height (0.25 nm) steps. Macrostep formation (i.e., step-bunching) was rarely observed, and then only on mesa heterofilms with extended crystal defects. As supersaturation is lowered by decreasing precursor concentration, terrace nucleation on the top (111) surface becomes suppressed, sometimes enabling the formation of thin 3C-SiC film surfaces completely free of steps. For thicker films, propagation of steps inward from mesa edges is sometimes observed, suggesting that enlarging 3C mesa sidewall facets begin to play an increasingly important role in film growth. The AFM observation of stacking faults (SF's) and 0.25 nm Burgers vector screw component growth spirals on the as-grown surface of defective 3C films is reported.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2004

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References

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Atomic Force Microscope Observation of Growth and Defects on As-Grown (111) 3C-SiC Mesa Surfaces
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Atomic Force Microscope Observation of Growth and Defects on As-Grown (111) 3C-SiC Mesa Surfaces
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