Research Articles

Imaging Surface Atomic Structure by Means of Auger Electrons

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Science  12 Jan 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4939, pp. 182-188
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4939.182


Measurements of the complete angular distribution of Auger electrons emitted from well-defined platinum[111] single-crystal surfaces have led to the discovery that the distributions are composed of "silhouettes" of surface atoms "back lit" by emission from atoms deeper in the solid. Theoretical simulations of Auger electron angular distributions based upon atomic point emitters and spherical atomic scatterers of uniform cross section are in close agreement with these experimental results, but opposite to previous theoretical predictions. In view of the definitive results obtained and the straightforward agreement between theory and experiment, angular distribution Auger microscopy (ADAM) is useful for direct imaging of interfacial structure and investigation of electron-solid interactions in the physical and biological sciences and engineering. Applicability of ADAM is illustrated by images obtained for monolayers of silver and iodine on platinum[111].

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