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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2024

Anomalous intralayer growth of epitaxial Si on Ag(111)


Abstract The epitaxial growth of silicene has been the subject of many investigations, controversies and non-classical results. In particular, the initially promising deposition of Si on a metallic substrate such as Ag(111) has revealed unexpected growth modes where Si is inserted at the beginning of the growth in the first atomic plane of the substrate. In order to rationalize this anomalous growth mode, we develop an out-of-equilibrium description of a lattice-based epitaxial growth model, which growth dynamics are analyzed via kinetic Monte-Carlo simulations. This model incorporates several effects revealed by the experiments such as the intermixing between Si and Ag, and surface effects. It is parametrized thanks to an approach in which we show that relatively precise estimates of energy barriers can be deduced by meticulous analysis of atomic microscopy images. This analysis enables us to reproduce both qualitatively and quantitatively the anomalous growth patterns of Si on Ag(111). We show that the dynamics results in two modes, a classical sub-monolayer growth mode at low temperature, and an inserted growth mode at higher temperatures, where the deposited Si atoms insert in the first layer of the substrate by replacing Ag atoms. Furthermore, we reproduce the non-standard $$\Lambda $$ Λ shape of the experimental plot of the island density as a function of temperature, with a shift in island density variation during the transition between the submonoloyer and inserted growth modes.
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hal-04565791 , version 1 (02-05-2024)



Kejian Wang, Geoffroy Prévot, Jean-Noël Aqua. Anomalous intralayer growth of epitaxial Si on Ag(111). Scientific Reports, 2024, 14 (1), pp.2401. ⟨10.1038/s41598-024-52348-1⟩. ⟨hal-04565791⟩
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