Atomic resolution images of GaAs(111)A surfaces in sulfuric acid solution

Hideki Yao, Shueh Lin Yau, Kingo Itaya

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In situ electrochemical scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was employed for observing GaAs semiconductor electrodes in an aqueous sulfuric acid solution. Well-ordered surfaces were prepared by chemical etching in a mixed solution of H2SO4 and H2O2. Atomically flat terrace-step structures were consistently observed on the chemically etched GaAs(111)A surface in 0.05M H2SO4. Atomic steps observed in the STM images correspond to the double layer step with a height of 0.33 nm. Atomic images of the Ga-terminated GaAs(111) surface were successfully obtained under electrochemical conditions for the first time. The STM images reveal a hexagonal structure with an interatomic distance of ∼ 0.4nm. The results presented here clearly demonstrate that the ideal GaAs(111)A-(1 × 1) structure exists for several hours in a pure H2SO4 solution in a cathodic potential region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalSurface Science
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 20 Jul 1995


  • Gallium arsenide
  • Low index single crystal surfaces
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Semiconductor-electrolyte interfaces
  • Solid-liquid interfaces
  • Surface chemical reaction
  • Surface structure
  • Tunneling


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