Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and computational modeling have been used to study the structure of ethyl-terminated Si(111) surfaces. The ethyl-terminated surface was prepared by treating the H-terminated Si(111) surface with PCl5 to form a Cl-terminated Si(111) surface with subsequent exposure to C2H5MgCl in tetrahydrofuran to produce an alkylated Si(111) surface. The STM data at 77 K revealed local, close-packed, and relatively ordered regions with a nearest-neighbor spacing of 0.38 nm as well as disordered regions. The average spot density corresponded to ≈85% of the density of Si atop sites on an unreconstructed Si(111) surface. Molecular dynamics simulations of a Si(111) surface randomly populated with ethyl groups to a total coverage of ≈80% confirmed that the ethyl-terminated Si(111) surface, in theory, can assume reasonable packing arrangements to accommodate such a high surface coverage, which could be produced by an exoergic surface functionalization route such as the two-step chlorination/alkylation process. Hence, it is possible to consistently interpret the STM data within a model suggested by recent X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic data and infrared absorption data, which indicate that the two-step halogenation/alkylation method can provide a relatively high coverage of ethyl groups on Si(111) surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry