Atomic Arrangements at Metal Surfaces

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Science  17 Oct 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4774, pp. 310-316
DOI: 10.1126/science.234.4774.310


The termination of a solid induces changes in the locations of the outermost atoms of the solid. The changes can be minor or as dramatic as the rearrangement of the atoms into a different crystallographic group. Surface crystallography studies have determined that all surfaces are altered by forces induced at the solid-vacuum interface. At the least, the outermost atomic layers are displaced away from positions that they would have had in the bulk environment. Results from experimental and theoretical investigations for the Al(110) surface are discussed to illustrate present understanding of the surface atomic displacements. Some effects that the truncation- induced forces have on the surfaces of binary metal alloys are also discussed.