Anomalous Decay of Electronically Stabilized Lead Mesas on Ni(111)


Bollmann, Tjeerd R.J. and Gastel, Raoul van and Zandvliet, Harold J.W. and Poelsema, Bene (2011) Anomalous Decay of Electronically Stabilized Lead Mesas on Ni(111). Physical Review Letters, 107 (13). p. 136103. ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract:With their low surface free energy, lead films tend to wet surfaces. However, quantum size effects (QSE) often lead to islands with distinct preferred heights. We study thin lead films on Ni(111) using low energy electron microscopy and selected area low energy electron diffraction. Indeed, the grown lead mesas show distinct evidence for QSE’s. At about 526 K metastable mesas reshape into hemispheres within milliseconds, driven by a huge reduction in interfacial free energy. The underlying diffusion rate is many orders of magnitude faster than expected for lead on bulk lead
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