Three-dimensional atomic structure of metastable nanoclusters in doped semiconductors

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.186104
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePhysical Review Letters
ISSN0031-9007
Volume107
Issue18
Article number186104
SubjectAtomic configuration; Cerium dopant; Channeling conditions; Chemical ordering; Crystallographic orientations; Host matrices; Impurity complexes; Local order; Nanophases; Ordered arrangement; Scanning transmission electron microscopy; Scattering intensity; Subnanometers; Zinc-blende; Atoms; Cerium; Doping (additives); Nanoclusters; Semiconducting silicon compounds; Three dimensional; Transmission electron microscopy; Visualization; Crystal atomic structure
AbstractAberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy is used to determine the atomic structure of nanoclusters of cerium dopant atoms embedded in silicon. By channeling electrons along two crystallographic orientations, we identify a characteristic zinc-blende chemical ordering within CeSi clusters coherent with the silicon host matrix. Strain energy limits the size of these ordered arrangements to just above 1 nm. With the local order identified, we then determine the atomic configuration of an individual subnanometer cluster by quantifying the scattering intensity under weak channeling condition in terms of the number of atoms. Analysis based on single-atom visualization also evidences the presence of split-vacancy impurity complexes, which supports the hypothesis of a vacancy-assisted formation of these metastable CeSi nanophases. © 2011 American Physical Society.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271688
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Record identifier04738930-fa2e-48aa-92f1-ea3554c6fb65
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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