Manipulating Chlorine Atom Bonding on the Si(100)-(2 x 1) Surface with the STM

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Dec 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5140, pp. 1703-1706
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5140.1703


Chlorine atoms strongly chemisorbed at dangling bond sites on the Si(100)-(2 x 1) surface are observed by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to hop between adjacent sites. The origin of this behavior is suggested to be an interaction between the field of the probe tip and the dipole moment of the silicon—chlorine bond. Chlorine atom migration is shown to be facilitated by the presence of a metastable chlorine bridge—bonded minimum. The STM probe was used to excite single chlorine atoms into this bridging configuration, resulting in a local population inversion. Selective application of voltage pulses between the probe tip and the surface rearranged the local bonding and induced transformations between different types of chlorine sites. In this manner, adsorbed species can be dissected and their composition and structure directly probed.