Binding and diffusion of a Si adatom around type B steps on Si(001) c(4 × 2)

Jun Wang, D. A. Drabold, A. Rockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maps of the binding energy of an adatom on Si(001) c(4 × 2) around the nonbonded and bonded type B surface steps are presented. The results suggest that the nonbonded type B step should accumulate adatoms rapidly both from above and below. The energy barrier to cross the nonbonded step is ∼0.2 eV greater than for diffusion on the flat surface. The binding sites along the nonbonded step edge are similar to those on the flat surface but are paired and connected by a low-energy diffusion pathway that may facilitate formation of dimers along the step edge. The bonded step attracts adatoms ∼0.5±0.2 eV more strongly than any other site on the surface. However, these sites are relatively inaccessible due to surrounding high energy barriers. Based on the results, the upper side of the bonded step should be repulsive to adatoms. The diffusion barrier for adatoms approaching the step rises and the binding sites become less favorable there. Hence, growth of the bonded step is probably much slower than the nonbonded step, which explains its observed predominance on Si(001) surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalSurface Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 30 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomistic dynamics
  • Density functional calculations
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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