Adsorption and accommodation of Xe on Pt{111}

P. S. Weiss and D. M. Eigler
Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 2240 – Published 12 October 1992
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We have recorded real-space images of Xe atoms adsorbed in a 4-K Pt{111} surface. In the dilute coverage limit, we find nearly all the Xe atoms at step edges. From this observation we deduce a lower limit of hundreds of angstroms that Xe atoms scatter across the surface before becoming thermally accommodated. This result is in sharp contrast to previous studies of metal-atom adsorption on metal surfaces in which it is believed that a large fraction of the impinging atoms remain at their point of impact at low surface temperature. For Xe, once the step sites are nearly saturated, point defects on the Pt{111} surface nucleate the growth of compact, incommensurate, rotationally ordered Xe islands. Thus, we have imaged the initiation of the growth of a surface overlayer, and have identified the sites at which this growth begins.

  • Received 30 January 1992


©1992 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

P. S. Weiss and D. M. Eigler

  • IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120
  • Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

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Vol. 69, Iss. 15 — 12 October 1992

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