Effect of Cu impurities on wet etching of Si(110): formation of trapezoidal hillocks

Teemu Hynninen, Miguel A. Gosálvez, Adam S. Foster, Hiroshi Tanaka, Kazuo Sato, Makio Uwaha, Risto M. Nieminen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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We simulate the formation of experimentally observed trapezoidal hillocks on etched Si(110) surfaces, describing their generic geometrical shape and analyzing the relative stability and/or reactivity of the key surface sites. In our model, the hillocks are stabilized by Cu impurities in the etchant adsorbing on the surface and acting as pinning agents. A model of random adsorptions will not result in hillock formation since a single impurity is easily removed from the surface. Instead a whole cluster of Cu atoms is needed as a mask to stabilize a hillock. Therefore we propose and analyze mechanisms that drive correlated adsorptions and lead to stable Cu clusters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013033
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number January 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cu clusters
  • etching
  • hillocks
  • silicon
  • surface morphology

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