Characterization of Terraces and Steps on Cl-Terminated Ge(111) Surfaces After HCl Treatment in N2 Ambient

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Germanium (Ge) is a promising substrate for semiconductor devices in the near future. However, wet-chemical preparations that enable the control of the structure of the Ge surface have not yet been developed. In this study, the surface structure of Ge(111) after HCl treatment is characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). XPS spectra revealed that purging with inert gas, such as nitrogen, is necessary to obtain a Ge surface free of oxide, probably because dissolved oxygen from air rapidly oxidizes the surface. Cl-terminated Ge surfaces are microscopically rough, but are composed of terraces and steps, as revealed by magnified STM images. Step edges run not along specific directions reflecting the crystallographic nature of the (111) surface but randomly. Many atomic-scale protrusions with the height of around 0.1 nm are dispersed on terraces. They are likely to be impurities such as carbon contaminants and water on Cl-terminated terraces attracted by Cl atoms with high electronegativity.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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