A buffer layer formed by depositing a ½ monolayer of Sr on Si(0 0 1) is known to passivate the Si surface, while its surface structure constitutes a suitable template for the integration of various functional oxides with the existing Si platform. We used Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) to prepare a Sr/Si(0 0 1)(1 × 2) surface and analysed it using in-situ Reflection High-Energy Diffraction (RHEED) in combination with low-temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). The STM images reveal an atomically ordered surface with terraces composed of one-dimensional (1D) chains running along perpendicular directions on neighbouring terraces. The 1D chains are separated by 0.78 nm and exhibit a low-amplitude corrugation with a period of 0.39 nm. The measured values agree well with the size of the (1 × 2) unit cell observed for similar MBE-grown surfaces, while the density of the surface defects is somewhat higher in the presented case. According to simulated STM images based on DFT calculations, two types of surface defects were identified and explored: arrays of Sr vacancies and Sr adatoms. These results show that PLD can offer precise control for the preparation of high-quality Sr-buffered Si(0 0 1) surfaces.
- Pulsed laser deposition
- Scanning tunneling microscopy
- Surface defects