Vicinal metal surfaces as nanotemplates for the growth of low-dimensional structures
Vicinal surfaces, which exhibit a regular array of steps, introduce defined arrangements of surface defects, which have the potential to create specific functionalities of the surface. In particular they can be used as templates for the growth of one-dimensional structures using selective step decoration. In this article we discuss the properties of vicinal metal surfaces and how they can be used as nanotemplates. The requirements for the growth of low-dimensional adsorbate structures at step edges of the vicinal (997) and (779) surfaces of platinum will be discussed in detail. Here energetics determined by the different adsorption sites and the kinetics present through the diffusion processes play an essential role. In order to obtain stable arrangements the propensity of the elements for alloy formation must be taken into account. Examples for the properties of the structures obtained and their role in studying one-dimensional systems are discussed, and we give a short outlook on how the principles of step decoration might be extended to a kind of atomic assembly of more complex surface nanostructures.
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter
- Pub Date:
- December 2003