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Research Highlight | Materials Science

Targeted growth at semiconductor surface defects

In a study published in Chemistry of Materials, researchers report a selective hydration approach to target electronically unfavorable surface sites on a semiconductor surface.

Scientific Achievement

We observe the nucleation of a vapor-phase surface reaction in proportion to defects on the surface of TiO2. This new precision in surface synthesis is consistent with atomic-site-selective growth exclusively at oxygen vacancies, as predicted by computational modeling.

Significance and Impact

Our selective hydration” approach provides a promising route to target electronically unfavorable surface sites (including oxygen vacancies) with atom-scale specificity. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) has long offered atomic thickness control, to which we now add lateral position control, to preserve nearby electronically desirable sites.

Research Details

  • The first site-selective ALD process on an oxide substrate
  • An island growth model for nucleation is consistent with in situ ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy (AFM)

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.2c03679

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