Electron Dynamics at Surfaces

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1352-1353
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1352

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Many surface processes involve the creation and decay of electronically excited states. At metal surfaces, these states have very short lifetimes and are strongly affected by defects, complicating experimental investigation. In this Perspective, Wolf and Ertl discuss results by Kliewer et al. (page 1399) and Petek et al. (page 1402), which illustrate the fundamental insights into the microscopic characteristics of electron dynamics at surfaces that can be obtained by state-of-the-art high spatial and temporal resolution studies.