The nucleation of Si on Si(111) has been studied during deposition in UHV by spot profile analysis of low energy electron diffraction (SPA-LEED). A new method of evaluation is developed by separating the measured spot profile into a central spike and a broad shoulder. The energy dependence of the fraction of the central spike out of the total diffracted intensity provides the vertical distribution of surface atoms over different levels. With this method it is shown that the first nucleation occurs in islands of double height. Only after deposition of several layers a layer-by-layer growth is found with a well defined nucleation of a new layer before the former one is completed.