Manipulation of the Reconstruction of the Au(111) Surface with the STM

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Science  11 Dec 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5089, pp. 1763-1765
DOI: 10.1126/science.258.5089.1763


Modification of the reconstruction of an Au(111) surface with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is demonstrated. This modification is accomplished by transferring a number of surface atoms to the STM tip to generate a surface multivacancy (hole), which modifies the stress distribution at the surface. The structural changes that follow the tip-induced surface perturbation are imaged in a time-resolved manner. The structural modification is the result of both short-range interactions, which lead to local atomic relaxation, and long-range elastic interactions, which produce large-scale rearrangements.