A 1300 x 1300Å STM Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy image of an atom-thick Cu2Si layer on a single crystal Si(111) surface. Following chlorine exposure and annealing at ~450°C SiCl2 and SiCl4 desorption, together with large scale copper migration, has given rise to the fine scale roughness as well as larger (nanoscale) crystallites. A chlorine coverage of ~0.5ML remains. The associated research project centers on Cu catalyzed, Cl and CH3 etching of Si, for large scale (CH3)2Cl2Si (g) production. The latter commercial process is essential in fabrication of all silicone materials.
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Year of Research Highlight: 1994