Preparation of air-stable, low recombination velocity Si(111) surfaces through alkyl termination

William J. Royea, Agnes Juang, Nathan S. Lewis

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184 Citations (Scopus)


A two-step, chlorination/alkylation procedure has been used to convert the surface Si-H bonds on NH4F(aq)-etched (111)-oriented Si wafers into Si-alkyl bonds of the form Si-CnH2n+1 (n ≥ 1). The electrical properties of such functionalized surfaces were investigated under high-level and low-level injection conditions using a contactless rf apparatus. The charge carrier recombination velocities of the alkylated surfaces were <25 cm s-1 under high-level and low-level injection conditions, implying residual surface trap densities of <3 × 109 cm-2. Although the carrier recombination velocity of hydrogen-terminated Si(111) surfaces in contact with aqueous acids is <20 cm s-1, this surface deteriorates within 30 min in an air ambient, yielding a high surface recombination velocity. In contrast, methylated Si(111) surfaces exhibit low surface recombination velocities in air for more than 4 weeks. Low surface recombination velocities were also observed for Si surfaces that had been modified with longer alkyl chains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1988-1990
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 25 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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