Low-Energy Electron Diffraction

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Science  01 Feb 1963:
Vol. 139, Issue 3553, pp. 379-388
DOI: 10.1126/science.139.3553.379


This discussion of a few preliminary experiments with nickel points out some of the potential uses of low energy electron diffraction in improving our understanding of many types of surface phenomena. The first, and probably the most basic use, is in the study of clean surfaces. As illustrated in this article, the physical properties of the surface layer of atoms may be totally unlike those in the bulk of the crystal. It is necessary to understand such phenomena before a thorough understanding of chemical effects on surfaces can be achieved. The adsorption of gases, oxidation and corrosion, and the formation of epitaxial layers can all be studied in great detail by low energy electron diffraction.