Abstract A hypothesis of perpendicular dimer row formation along three-bilayer (3 BL) step was suggested. The hypothesis, explains the stability of 3 BL steps on the vicinal Si(1 1 1) surface deflected in 〈 1 ¯ 1 ¯ 2 〉 direction as well as the limitation of Ge and Si island height by 3 BL at the initial nucleation stages on Si(1 1 1) surface. The detailed examinations of STM images of 3 BL steps were carried out. New peculiarities of atomic structure of 3 BL single step on Si(1 1 1) and 3 BL steps on Si(5 5 7) surfaces were revealed. The results of STM images examination verify the hypothesis of perpendicular dimer row formation along the boundary of the 3 BL step.