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Atomic force microscopy probe-induced large-area ultrathin SiOx (x ≡ O/Si content ratio and x > 2) protrusions only a few nanometers high on a SiO2 layer were characterized by scanning photoemission microscopy (SPEM) and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS). SPEM images of the large-area ultrathin SiOx protrusions directly showed the surface chemical distribution and chemical state specifications. The peak intensity ratios of the XPS spectra of the large-area ultrathin SiOx protrusions provided the elemental quantification of the Si 2p core levels and Si oxidation states (such as the Si4+, Si3+, Si2+, and Si1+ species). The O/Si content ratio (x) was evidently determined by the height of the large-area ultrathin SiOx protrusions.
We report on a method based on cross-sectional scanning photoelectron microscopy and spectroscopy (XSPEM/S) for studying electronic structure of III-nitride surfaces and interfaces on a submicrometer scale. Cross-sectional III-nitride surfaces prepared by in situ cleavage were investigated to eliminate the polarization effects associated with the interface charges/dipoles normal to the cleaved surface. In contrast to the as-grown polar surfaces which show strong surface band bending, the cleaved nonpolar surfaces have been found to be under the flat-band conditions. Therefore, both doping and compositional junctions can be directly visualized at the cleaved nonpolar surfaces. Additionally, we show that the “intrinsic” valence band offsets at the cleaved III-nitride heterojunctions can be unambiguously determined.
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