We have investigated a room-temperature growth mode of ultrathin Ag films on a Si(111) surface with an Sb surfactant using STM in a UHV system. On the Sb-passivated Si surface, small sized islands were formed up to 1.1 ML. Flat Ag islands were dominant at 2.1 ML, coalescing into larger islands at 3.2 ML. Although the initial growth mode of Ag films on the Sb-terminated Si(111) surface was Volmer-Weber (island growth), the films were much more uniform than Ag growth on clean Si(111) at the higher coverages. From the analysis of STM images of Ag films grown with and without an Sb surfactant, the uniform growth of Ag films using an Sb surfactant appears to be caused by the kinetic effects of Ag on the preadsorbed Sb layer. Our STM results indicated that Sb suppresses the surface diffusion of Ag atoms and increases the Ag-island density. The increased island density is believed to cause coalescence of Ag islands at higher coverages of Ag, resulting in the growth of atomically flat and uniform Ag islands on the Sb surfactant layer.
- Scanning tunneling microscopy
- Surface structure, morphology, roughness, and topography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry