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Nanometer scale connections to semiconductor surfaces Open Access


Other title
gas dosing
surface reactivity
molecular lines
silicon surfaces
surface conductivity
scanning tunneling microscopy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zikovsky, Janik
Supervisor and department
Wolkow, Robert (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Hegmann, Frank (Physics)
Backhouse, Christopher (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Salmeron, Miquel (Materials Sciences)
Freeman, Mark (Physics)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Extending electronic devices beyond the limitations of current micro-electronics manufacturing will require detailed knowledge of how to make contacts to semiconductor surfaces. In this work, we investigated several methods by which such connections to silicon surfaces could be achieved. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was our main experimental tool, allowing direct imaging of the surfaces at the atomic level. First, the growth of self-forming linear nanostructures of organic molecules on silicon surfaces offers a possibility of creating devices with hybrid organic-silicon functionality. We have studied the growth of many different molecules on a variety of hydrogen-terminated silicon surfaces: H-Si(100)-2x1, H-Si(100)-3x1, and H-Si(111)-1x1. We found molecular growth patterns affected by steric crowding, by sample doping level, or by exposure to ion-pump created radicals. We formed the first contiguous "L-shaped" molecular lines, and used an external electric field to direct molecular growth. We attempted to study a novel method for nanoscale information transfer along molecular lines based on excitation energy transfer. The second part of the work focuses on the development and use of a new multiple-probe STM instrument. The design and the custom STM control software written for it are described. Connections to Si surfaces were achieved with a combination of lithographically defined metal contacts and STM tips. Two-dimensional surface conductivity of the Si(111)-7x7 surface was measured, and the effect of modifying the surface with organic molecules was investigated. A novel method, scanning tunneling fractional current imaging (STFCI), was developed to further study surface conductance. This method allowed us to determine, for the first time, that the resistance of steps on the Si(111)-7x7 surface is significantly higher than that of the surface alone.
License granted by Janik Zikovsky ( on 2009-09-21T21:48:22Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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