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ISSN - 19327447, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2012, vol. 116, p. 8535-8540

Etching or stabilization of GaAs(001) under Alkali and halogen adsorption

Tereshchenko O. E., Paget D., Toropetsky K. V., Alperovich V. L., Eremeev S. V., Bakulin A. V., Kulkova S. E., Doyle B. P., Nannarone S.

Experimentally and by ab initio calculations it is shown that adsorption of electropositive cesium on the As-rich surface of GaAs(001) and, in a symmetric fashion, adsorption of electronegative iodine on the Ga-rich surface, induce a decrease of the surface stability, thus facilitating surface etching. Conversely, Cs adsorption on the Ga-rich surface and I adsorption on the As-rich surface lead to an increased surface stability. Etching occurs when adsorption-induced charge transfer weakens the backbonds of the top arsenic atoms for the case of Cs on the As-rich β2(2 × 4) surface and the lateral bonds in the topmost surface layer for I on the Ga-rich ζ(4 × 2) surface. The possibilities of reversible transitions between the two reconstructed surfaces and of atomic layer etching with monolayer precision are demonstrated. © 2012 American Chemical Society.