Book chapter 7

Introduction to Surface and Thin Film Processes

John A. Venables

Cambridge University Press (2000)

Supplementary notes by John A. Venables

© Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University and John A. Venables


Chapter 7: Semiconductor surfaces and interfaces

Corrections, comments and updates


7.1 Structural and electronic effects at semiconductor surfaces

New references for section 7.1

7.2 Case studies of reconstructed semiconductor surfaces

In section 7.2.3 on page 236, it is mentioned that color versions of the Si(111)7x7 structure can be found on the web. One such can be found via my Surface simulations page, or directly on Klaus Herrmann's site in Berlin.

New references for section 7.2

7.3 Stresses and strains in semiconductor film growth

In section 7.3.1 on page 244-5, a brief discussion is given about the equilibrium form of silicon crystals. There are now further papers by the Marseille group, using an interesting RHEED/REM technique which has allowed them to study roughening transitions in-situ at high temperatures close to equilibrium conditions (Heyraud et al. 1999, Métois & Heyraud 2000). The Si(110) and (113) faces show a roughening transition as expected, whereas the (111) face does not become rough. The (001) face both shows a roughening and/or surface melting transition, and loses the (2x1) reconstruction at the same temperature. It is not at present clear which transition drives the other, but it is confirmed that (001) is not part of the equilibrium form.

There is also a book Stress and strain in epitaxy (Hanbücken and Deville, 2001), resulting from the Summer School on the Ile de Porquerolles, France in October, 2000. This book contains the invited lectures, and many of the posters presented are written up in Appl. Surface Sci. 177 (2001), issue 4. The book gives comments and new material from a largely French perspective, and starts with a major chapter by Müller and Kern on elastic effects in crystal growth, which deserves to be studied in some depth by others in the field. This chapter has been expanded into a major review Elastic effects on surface physics by Müller and Sául (2004). There are many new papers concerned with this general area, including from my own group, as listed on my research pages.

In section 7.3.3 on pages 249-252, the special case of SiGe growth is described, and elsewhere the importance of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) methods of growth is emphasized (see index, page 364). However, largely due to the complexitity of CVD processes, I did not feel able to devote much real discussion to the surface processes involved in such methods. This topic was the subject of the MRS Turnbull Lecture in November 1999 by the recipient of the Turnbull award, Professor Joe E. Greene, and has been written up more recently (Greene 2001). This article is a suitable introduction to the inherent complexity of CVD, where the various Si and Ge hydrides are necessarily involved, plus the issues of doping, and supersaturation of dopants, in this case p-type boron introduced from diborane. CVD is complex, and the impressive work done by the Illinois and other groups serves to emphasize how close we are to the beginning of quantititative studies of CVD and related techniques, where many reactions are needed in series to create the observed end products.

In section 7.3.3 on page 252 the role of stress is indicated as a factor in the growth of island or S-K films, and this is a hot topic in relation to quantum dots, as well as having a longer history in respect of adhesion (or lack of it, peeling) of metal films. The January 2002 issue of the MRS Bulletin contains a collection of articles on Mechanical Properties in Small Dimensions (Vinci and Baker, 2002), within which one of the articles (Floro et al. 2002), containing several references, deals with the physical origins of intrinsic stress in (Volmer-Weber, i.e. island growth) thin films.

In section 7.3.4 on page 256, some references for another hot topic, InGaN laser diodes, are given. For those who must have the latest on this field, you can obtain at least two more books Nitride semiconductors and devices (Morkoc 1999) and/or The blue laser diode: the complete story (Nakamura et al. 2000) For those who want an overview at a less specialist level, try Johnson et al. (2000).

I am only too well aware that no individual can actually afford to purchase all such specialist books, and even libraries in large, well-funded institutions may have difficulties. This is one of the reasons for giving multiple references in the text of the book; depending on the strength of your 'need to know', you can explore references in journal article and/or book form accordingly. But, in general, I am not planning that these chapter updates should simply replicate publishers' circulars; that would involve too much work, and would be devoid of personal comment or judgement.

New references for section 7.3


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Latest version 29 August 2006.