SURFACE SCIENCE

Long Intervals in the Islands

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Science  08 Jun 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5830, pp. 1395
DOI: 10.1126/science.316.5830.1395c

Interactions between absorbates on metal surfaces are often direct and short-range in nature; repulsions, for example, can lead to lower coverages than steric packing would predict. Longer-range interactions can arise indirectly, such as through interactions with the surface states of the metal. Nanayakkara et al. explored these longer-range effects for adsorbed Br atoms on the close-packed Cu(111) surface. They deposited phenyl bromide on the surface and heated it to 600 K in vacuum. Biphenyl molecules desorbed and the Br atoms had sufficient mobility to form islands on the surface (shown at right). Scanning tunneling microscopy at 4 K revealed that the nearest-neighbor island separations were half-multiples of the Fermi wavelength of this surface. The strong interaction of the Br atoms with the surface potential affected the island spacing even at distances of more than 50 Å. — PDS

Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 206108 (2007).

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