Influence of step-induced anti-phase boundaries on the surface morphology of zincblende-type semiconductors
Using high-resolution low-energy electron diffraction, we find a "correlation" of the c(2 × 2) reconstruction of the ZnSe(001) surface across - and -oriented steps. The difference of the corresponding step vectors is incompatible with the c(2 × 2) reconstruction. Thus intersection points of - and -oriented steps at 2D island corners or kinks induce c(2 × 2) anti-phase boundaries along the [1bar 10] direction. This mechanism yields a non-local contribution to the step energy which generally could be important for the explanation of step morphologies, e.g., of the recently observed, self-organized checkerboard-like arrangement of nano-terraces on a vicinal CdTe(001) surface.