Faceting kinetics of stepped Si(113) surfaces: Dynamic scaling and nano-scale grooves

S. Song, Mirang Yoon, S. G.J. Mochrie, G. B. Stephenson, S. T. Milner

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Time-resolved synchrotron X-ray scattering studies are presented of the faceting kinetics of stepped silicon surfaces misoriented by 2.1° and 1.3° from the cubic [113] direction towards the [001] direction. Following a quench from the high-temperature one-phase region of the orientational phase diagram into the two-phase coexistence region, originally-uniformly-distributed steps rearrange to form a grooved superstructure. Time-resolved surface X-ray scattering measurements reveal the behavior of the grooved surface morphology as a function of time. For times up to several hundred seconds after a quench, the behaviors of the specular and diffuse scattering intensity support a dynamic scaling description of the surface morphology. Specifically, the surface is found to be self-similar in time, with a characteristic groove side (L) varying as a power-law versus time (t): L=Lotφ with a coarsening exponent of φ=0.164±0.021≃1/6. φ=1/6 is consistent with a theory which focuses on thermally fluctuating step bunches and takes their collisions as the key growth mechanism. At later times, the groove size approaches a limiting value which depends on the stepped phase misorientation angle. This is consistent with the behavior expected for faceted surfaces in the case that elastic effects are important [V.I. Marchenko, Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 81 (1981) 1141].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-63
Number of pages27
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 10 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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