Scanning tunnelling microscopy observations of the evolution of small-scale topography on gold surfaces following irradiation with low-energy argon ions

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Room-temperature irradiation of atomically flat gold films has been observed, using scanning tunnelling microscopy, to give rise to small faceted islands and pits (about 10 nm in lateral dimension and a few monolayers in height) which subsequently evolve by surface diffusion over a period of hours. The evolution on grains with different surface orientations is observed to be markedly different and, in particular, on what appears from symmetry consideration to be a (100) grain, the surface features are apparently in dynamic equilibrium under irradiation and subsequently thermally dissociate by the emission of small mobile clusters of atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalPhilosophical Magazine B: Physics of Condensed Matter; Statistical Mechanics, Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


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