Wetting-layer transformation for Pb nanocrystals grown on Si(111)
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We present the results of in situ x-ray scattering experiments that investigate the growth of Pb nanocrystalline islands on Si(111). It is conclusively shown that the Pb nanocrystals do not reside on top of a Pb wetting layer. The nucleating Pb nanocrystals transform the highly disordered Pb wetting layer beneath the islands into well-ordered fcc Pb. The surface then consists of fcc Pb islands directly on top of the Si surface with the disordered wetting layer occupying the region between the islands. As the Pb nanocrystals coalesce at higher coverage we observe increasing disorder that is consistent with misfit strain relaxation. These results have important implications for predicting stable Pb island heights.
Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 3866 (2004)