Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Studies of Temperature-Dependent Etching of Diamond (100) by Atomic Hydrogen Page: 3,371
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VOLUME 86, NUMBER 15 PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 9 APRIL 2001
FIG. 5. Nonhydrogen terminated diamond (100)-(2 X 1) sur-
face after atomic hydrogen exposure for 5 min at 1000 C. Ob-
served are various DA steps.
ends of SB steps and can be etched . In contrast, only
the last dimer in a row of an SB step has a high probability
of being etched. For example, atoms 7 and 8 can be etched
only after atoms 9 and 10 are etched. Therefore, growth
at SB steps can proceed via dimer row extension and pro-
duce a continuous monolayer. Our results provide direct
evidence for this model. A recent model that considers the
preferential etching of under-coordinated atoms predicts
the observed growth rate and a smooth surface [11 ].
There have been reports of LEED studies of the etch-
ing of diamond (100) by atomic hydrogen produced by a
microwave plasma , and a comparison between etch-
ing resulting from atomic hydrogen produced by a hot-
tungsten filament and a microwave plasma by Cheng et al.
. In Ref. , it was concluded that atomic hydro-
gen produced by a hot filament made the diamond (100)
surface rough with (111) facets, and atomic hydrogen pro-
duced by a microwave plasma made the diamond (100)
surface smooth. It was suggested that the difference is
caused by the higher velocity ions in a hydrogen plasma
. Our results explain the observations of Cheng et al.
that the hot-tungsten filament technique produced a rough
diamond (100) surface. The final step of Cheng et al. was
an atomic hydrogen exposure at T = 527 C that was in-
tended only to hydrogen terminate the surface. Our results
show that exposure of diamond (100) to atomic hydrogen
at T - 500 C results in a pitted surface with (111) facets.
In summary, we have used UHV STM to study the tem-
perature dependence of the etching of diamond (100) by
atomic hydrogen. We find that etching by atomic hydro-
gen is highly temperature dependent resulting in a rough
and pitted surface at T - 200 and 500 C, respectively.
At T - 1000 C, etching occurs predominantly in the di-
FIG. 6. Schematic of the diamond (100)-(2 X 1) surface. The
large, intermediate, and small circles represent the top, second,
and third layer carbon atoms, respectively. The shaded carbon
atoms are hydrogen terminated.
rection of dimer rows. This anisotropic etching supports
recent theoretical models for the growth of smooth dia-
mond (100) films. Our technique of imaging the nonhydro-
gen terminated diamond (100)-(2 X 1) surface using UHV
STM can be used to study other adsorbates and processes
at the atomic scale. Such studies are crucial in understand-
ing the growth and properties of diamond.
This work was supported by the National Science Foun-
dation under Award No. DMR-0074636, and the Texas
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VOLUME 86, NUMBER 15
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
9 APRIL 2001
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Stallcup, Richard E. & Pérez, José M. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Studies of Temperature-Dependent Etching of Diamond (100) by Atomic Hydrogen, article, April 9, 2001; [College Park, Maryland]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84157/m1/4/: accessed April 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.