Low-temperature STM images of methyl-terminated Si(111) surfaces

Hongbin Yu, Lauren J. Webb, Ryan S. Ries, Santiago D. Solares, William A. Goddard, James R. Heath, Nathan S. Lewis

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Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) has been used to image CH 3-terminated Si(111) surfaces that were prepared through a chlorination/alkylation procedure. The STM data revealed a well-ordered structure commensurate with the atop sites of an unreconstructed 1 × 1 overlayer on the silicon (111) surface. Images collected at 4.7 K revealed bright spots, separated by 0.18 ± 0.01 nm, which are assigned to adjacent H atoms on the same methyl group. The C-H bonds in each methyl group were observed to be rotated by 7 ± 3° away from the center of an adjacent methyl group and toward an underlying Si atom. Hence, the predominant interaction that determines the surface structure arises from repulsions between hydrogen atoms on neighboring methyl groups, and secondary interactions unique to the surface are also evident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-674
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Yu, H., Webb, L. J., Ries, R. S., Solares, S. D., Goddard, W. A., Heath, J. R., & Lewis, N. S. (2005). Low-temperature STM images of methyl-terminated Si(111) surfaces. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109(2), 671-674. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp047672m