Al-alkyls as acceptor dopant precursors for atomic-scale devices
Atomically precise ultradoping of silicon is possible with atomic resists, area-selective surface chemistry, and a limited set of hydride and halide precursor molecules, in a process known as atomic precision advanced manufacturing (APAM). It is desirable to expand this set of precursors to include dopants with organic functional groups and here we consider aluminium alkyls, to expand the applicability of APAM. We explore the impurity content and selectivity that results from using trimethyl aluminium and triethyl aluminium precursors on Si(001) to ultradope with aluminium through a hydrogen mask. Comparison of the methylated and ethylated precursors helps us understand the impact of hydrocarbon ligand selection on incorporation surface chemistry. Combining scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory calculations, we assess the limitations of both classes of precursor and extract general principles relevant to each.