Strain-induced shape transition of VSi2 clusters on Si(111)

V. J.S. Oldenkotte, S. E. Vries, M. A. Smithers, K. Sotthewes, H. J.W. Zandvliet*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We investigated the growth and shape of vanadium silicide clusters on Si(111) using scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The deposition of 8 monolayers of vanadium on Si(111) and subsequent annealing at 1200 K leads to the formation of large elongated VSi2 clusters. This is in marked contrast to the deposition of submonolayer amounts of V where the VSi2 islands have a compact shape. The shape transition can be explained by a competition between edge formation and strain relaxation energy terms. The VSi2 clusters, which are aligned along the three high symmetry directions of the Si(111) surface and surrounded by a denuded zone, form a two-dimensional network.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140394
Number of pages5
JournalThin solid films
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Epitaxy
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Shape transition
  • Si(111)
  • Silicide
  • Strain
  • Vanadium
  • Atomic force microscopy


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