Observations of reversible and irreversible structural transitions of cobalt on Si (1 1 1) with LEEM

R. J. Phaneuf, Y. Hong, S. Horch, Peter Bennett

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3 Scopus citations


We present real time images of the evolution of the structure of the Si (1 1 1) surface during the deposition of cobalt at elevated temperatures, acquired using low-energy electron microscopy. The system follows a sequence of coexisting ordered and disordered phases, consistent with two-dimensional eutectic behavior. Reversible temperature driven transitions are observed between the ordered Si (1 1 1)(7 X 7) reconstructed phase and a disordered lattice gas of Co-containing ring-clusters (RC), indicating a local equilibrium between these structures. Only irreversible temperature driven transitions from an ordered (√7 x √7)-RC phase to the disordered phase are observed. The nucleation and growth of stable islands, mostly CoSi2, depletes the Co-rich (√7 x √7) structure of Co, resulting in the formation and growth of adjacent regions of the Co-poor disordered '(1 x 1)'-RC phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • Electron microscopy
  • Low-energy electron microscopy
  • Silicides
  • Surface phase separation
  • Surface phase transitions
  • Surfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


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