Surfaces of 6H-SiC(0001) homoepitaxial layers deposited on vicinal (∼3.5° off (0001) towards ) and on-axis 6H-SiC wafers by chemical vapour deposition have been investigated using ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy. Undulating step configurations were observed on both the on-axis and the vicinal surfaces. The former surface possessed wider terraces than the latter. Step heights on both surfaces were ∼0.25nm corresponding to single bilayers containing one Si and one C layer. After annealing at T>1100°C for 3-5 min in UHV, selected terraces contained honeycomb-like regions caused by the transformation to a graphitic surface as a result of Si sublimation. A model of the observed step configuration has been proposed based on the observation of the [2̄110] or [12̄10] orientations of the steps and energetic considerations. Additional deposition of very thin (∼2 nm) SiC films on the above samples by gas source molecular beam epitaxy was performed to observe the evolution of the surface structure. Step bunching and growth of 6H-SiC layers and formation of 3C-SiC islands were observed on the vicinal and the on-axis surfaces, respectively, and controlled by the diffusion lengths of the adatoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry