Morphological and electrical properties of self-assembled iron silicide nanoparticles on Si(0 0 1) and Si(1 1 1) substrates

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Epitaxial iron silicide nanostructures are grown by solid phase epitaxy on Si(0 0 1) and Si(1 1 1), and by reactive deposition epitaxy on Si(0 0 1) substrates. The formation process is monitored by reflection high-energy electron diffraction. The morphology, size, and electrical properties of the nanoparticles are investigated by scanning electron microscopy, by electrically active scanning probe microscopy, and by confocal Raman spectroscopy. The results show that the shape, size, orientation, and density of the nanoobjects can be tuned by self-assembly, controlled by the lattice misfit between the substrates and iron silicides. The size distribution and shape of the grown nanoparticles depend on the substrate orientation, on the initial thickness of the evaporated iron, on the temperature and time of the annealing, and on the preparation method. The so-called Ostwald ripening phenomena, which state that the bigger objects develop at the expense of smaller ones, controls the density of the nanoparticles. Raman spectra show the bigger objects do not contain β-FeSi 2 phase. The different shape nanoparticles exhibit small, about 100 mV barrier compared to the surrounding silicon. The local leakage current of the samples measured by conductive AFM using a Pt coated Si tip is localized in a few nanometers size sites, and the sites which we assume are very small silicide nanoparticles or point defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-582
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Electronic properties
  • Epitaxy
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Vapor deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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