Scanning Microscopy


Semiconductor surfaces are known to reconstruct, i.e., their surface atomic geometries differ from those of the corresponding surface planes in the bulk material. For clean tetrahedrally coordinated semiconductors, these reconstructed geometries are shown to be predicted by five simple principles. These principles are illustrated by the specific examples of Si(100)-(2x1), Si(111)-(2x1), GaAs(100)-c(2x8), GaAs(111)-(2x2), and relaxed zincblende (110) surfaces. The concept of universal (i.e., material independent) semiconductor surface structures is introduced and shown to be characteristic of the cleavage surfaces of tetrahedrally coordinated compound semiconductors. The role of scanning tunneling microscopy in identifying and validating these principles is highlighted.

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