This paper presents the very first surface physics experiment performed in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) in Romania, using a new molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) installation. Cleaning of a Si(001) wafer was achieved by using a very simple technique: sequences of annealing at 900–1000 °C in ultrahigh vacuum: low 10−8mbar, with a base pressure of 1.5×10−10mbar. The preparation procedure is quite reproducible and allows repeated cleaning of the Si(001) after contamination in ultrahigh vacuum. The Si(001) single crystal surface is characterized by low energy electron diffraction (LEED), reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). The latter technique is utilized in order to investigate the sample contamination by the residual gas in the UHV chamber, as determined by a residual gas analyzer (RGA). Unambiguous assignment of oxidized and unoxidized silicon is provided; also, an important feature is that the LVV Auger peak at 90–92 eV cannot be solely attributed to clean Si (i.e. Si surrounded only by Si), but also to silicon atoms bounded with carbon. Even with a sum of partial pressures of oxygen and carbon containing molecules in the range of 5×10−10mbar, the sample is contaminated very quickly, having a (1/e) lifetime of about 76 minutes.

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