Monocrystalline Si(I 1 1) targets are implanted (at room temperature) with antimony ions at 120 keV energy to 5 X 10(14) or 5 x 10(15) Sb+ cm(-2) dose. The samples are heat treated by means of rapid thermal processing (RTP) at 1000 degreesC during 60 s, under nitrogen atmosphere. In this work, we report the measured evolution of the silicon surface damage and the radiation damage recovery in relation to antimony dose and RTP processing. We also study the behavior of antimony dopant into Si(I 1 1) specimens. The investigation is carried out by He+ Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS; operating at 1.57 MeV energy in both random and channeling modes), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques. It is shown that a good surface damage recovery is obtained for all the annealed samples. However, after RTP, a significant loss of antimony has occurred for the specimens which are implanted with 5 x 10(15) Sb+ cm(-2) dose. This suggests an antimony out-diffusion. Finally, a good morphological characterization of the specimens is provided by AFM. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.