Structures of the initial stage of Fe silicide grown on Si(1 1 1) by reactive deposition epitaxy method are studied by reflection high-energy electron diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. At the beginning, triangular two-dimensional Fe silicide islands of a 2 × 2 structure appear. During iron deposition, they grow and part of them stick to each other, while their flatness and periodic structure remain unchanged. At multilayer coverage, a diffraction pattern due to three-dimensional islands appears. This is considered to be a new Fe silicide phase as a precursor of β-FeSi2. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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