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Regular step formation on concave-shaped surfaces on 6H-SiC(0001)

Wulfhekel, W.; Sander, D.; Nitsche, S.; Dulot, F.; Leycuras, A.; Hanbucken, M.


A concave-shaped surface has been prepared in a 6H-SiC(0001) substrate by mechanical grinding. As a consequence, the different crystallographic planes building up the 6H-SiC polytype are cut under continuously changing polar angles in all azimuthal directions. Through hydrogen etching, this curved surface breaks, up into a whole set of surfaces vicinal to the initial 6H(0001) orientation. The local structural reorganisation after hydrogen etching has been studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Two types of local bond environments are present at the step edges leading to a strong anisotropy in the surface etching with hydrogen. As a result, the distribution of the terrace width and the step heights varies with the azimuthal angle and reflects the sixfold symmetry of the bulk crystal. For most azimuthal directions, an alternation of large and small terraces, separated by steps of 0.75 nm heights (height of half the 6H polytype, three bilayers) is observed and only for well defined azimuthal directions, equally spaced terraces separated by steps of 1.5 run height (one unit cell of 6H-SiC, six bilayers) are found. ... mehr

DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2003.12.037
Zitationen: 27
Zitationen: 24
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Physikalisches Institut (PHI)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2004
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0039-6028
KITopen-ID: 1000053864
Erschienen in Surface Science
Verlag Elsevier
Band 550
Heft 1-3
Seiten 8-14
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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