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Title: SnTe microcrystals: Surface cleaning of a topological crystalline insulator

Investigating nanometer and micron sized materials thought to exhibit topological surface properties that can present a challenge, as clean surfaces are a pre-requisite for band structure measurements when using nano-ARPES or laser-ARPES in ultra-high vacuum. This issue is exacerbated when dealing with nanometer or micron sized materials, which have been prepared ex-situ and so have been exposed to atmosphere. We present the findings of an XPS study where various cleaning methods have been employed to reduce the surface contamination and preserve the surface quality for surface sensitive measurements. Microcrystals of the topological crystalline insulator SnTe were grown ex-situ and transferred into ultra high vacuum (UHV) before being treated with either atomic hydrogen, argon sputtering, annealing, or a combination of treatments. The samples were also characterised using the scanning electron microscopy, both before and after treatment. It was found that atomic hydrogen cleaning with an anneal cycle (200 °C) gave the best clean surface results.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22489433
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 108; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ANNEALING; ARGON; CRYSTALS; HYDROGEN; LASERS; MATERIALS; SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; SPUTTERING; SURFACE CLEANING; SURFACE PROPERTIES; SURFACES; TIN TELLURIDES; TOPOLOGY; X-RAY PHOTOELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY