Determining the Electronic Confinement of a Subsurface Metallic State
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Dopant profiles in semiconductors are important for understanding nanoscale electronics. Highly conductive and extremely confined phosphorus doping profiles in silicon, known as Si:P δ-layers, are of particular interest for quantum computer applications, yet a quantitative measure of their electronic profile has been lacking. Using resonantly enhanced photoemission spectroscopy, we reveal the real-space breadth of the Si:P δ-layer occupied states and gain a rare view into the nature of the confined orbitals. We find that the occupied valley-split states of the δ-layer, the so-called 1Γ and 2Γ, are exceptionally confined with an electronic profile of a mere 0.40 to 0.52 nm at full width at half-maximum, a result that is in excellent agreement with density functional theory calculations. Furthermore, the bulk-like Si 3pz orbital from which the occupied states are derived is sufficiently confined to lose most of its pz-like character, explaining the strikingly large valley splitting observed for the 1Γ and 2Γ states.
This research was supported under Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (project number CE110001027)
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