Subatomic electronic feature from dynamic motion of Si dimer defects in Bi nanolines on Si(001)
AbstractScanning tunneling microscopy (STM) reveals unusual sharp features in otherwise defect-free Bi nanolines self-assembled on Si(001). They appear as subatomic thin lines perpendicular to the Bi nanoline at positive biases and as atomic size beads at negative biases. Density functional theory (DFT) simulations show that these features can be attributed to buckled Si dimers substituting for Bi dimers in the nanoline, where the sharp feature is the counterintuitive signature of these dimers flipping during scanning. The perfect correspondence between the STM data and the DFT simulation demonstrated in this paper highlights the detailed understanding we have of the complex Bi-Si(001) Haiku system. This discovery has applications in the patterning of Si dangling bonds for nanoscale electronics.