Initial stages of metal encapsulation during epitaxial growth studied by STM: Rh/Ag(100)

S. Chang, J. Wen, P. Thiel, S. Günther, J. Meyer, R. Behm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present results of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) study of Rh/Ag(100) epitaxy, which shows how the surface rearranges toward the more stable encapsulated structure known to form at higher temperatures. At room temperature, Rh growth proceeds via two competing pathways: (i) thermally activated exchange with Ag surface atoms, which leads to increased coordination of the higher surface free-energy metal Rh by Ag atoms, and (ii) nucleation and growth of mixed Rh/Ag adislands. The Ag-Rh interaction also reduces the surface mobility of Ag, e.g., by local pinning of step edges, accompanied by complex step and surface erosion processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13747-13752
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume53
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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