Surface Atomic Arrangement of Aluminum Ultra-Thin Layers Grown on Si(111)
Surface atomic arrangement and physical properties of aluminum ultrathin layers on c-Si(111)-7 × 7 and hydrogen-terminated c-Si(111)-1 × 1 surfaces deposited using molecular beam epitaxy were investigated. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy spectra were collected in two configurations (take-off angle of 0° and 45°) to precisely determine the surface species. Moreover, 3D atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of the air-exposed samples were acquired to investigate the clustering formations in film structure. The deposition of the Al layers was monitored in situ using a reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) experiments to confirm the surface crystalline structure of the c-Si(111). The analysis of the RHEED patterns during the growth process suggests the settlement of aluminum atoms in Al(111)-1 × 1 clustered formations on both types of surfaces. The surface electrical conductivity in both configurations was tested against atmospheric oxidation. The results indicate differences in conductivity based on the formation of various alloys on the surface.