Electronic growth of Pb islands on Si(111) at low temperature

S. H. Chang, W. B. Su, Wen-Bin Jian, C. S. Chang, L. J. Chen, Tien T. Tsong

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The growth of Pb films on the Si(111)7×7 surface has been investigated at low temperatures using scanning tunneling microscopy. Flat-top Pb islands are formed and at low coverage the thickness of islands is confined in the range of four to nine atomic layers. Among these islands, those of seven-layer height are the most abundant. In low coverage limit, these multilayer islands prefer to grow in size instead of in thickness, showing a quasi-two-dimensional growth property. This growth behavior, different from the conventional growth modes, arises from the quantum size effect. At higher coverage, the growth also reveals layer-by-layer behavior. The Arrhenius plot of the island density versus temperature shows a linear relationship, indicating the formation of islands can be explained by the nucleation and growth theory. We also study the growth of Pb films on the incommensurate Pb/Si(111) surface at low temperatures. Flat Pb islands can be grown as well, but the threshold thickness is reduced to two atomic layers instead of four.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245401
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2002

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