Surface Structures Far-from-Equilibrium


Project Leader(s):
Michael Tringides

Principal Investigators:
Kai-Ming Ho, Myron Hupalo, Patricia Thiel, Michael Tringides, Cai-Zhuang Wang


This project focuses on low dimensional surface structures (ultrathin metallic films, islands, wires, etc.), especially in systems exhibiting quantum size effects (QSE). Since such structures are metastable and grown far from equilibrium, it is important to identify the optimal kinetic pathways. In turn, this requires a better understanding of many atomistic processes (e.g. surface diffusion, nucleation, coarsening) that define the kinetic pathway. In addition the properties of the grown structures (e.g. band structure, density-of-states) depend on the structure dimensions. This opens the possibility to control their potential uses in chemical reactivity and energy storage.

This interdisciplinary effort (physics, chemistry) is built upon a close interaction between theorists (Wang, Ho) and experimentalists (Tringides, Thiel, Hupalo). The scientists with the project have a strong background in film growth, coarsening, diffusion, nucleation, and overlayer structure analysis.

This projects objectives include:

  • Kinetics of growth. Certain systems with QSE exhibit anomalously fast aggregation kinetics, i.e. deposited atoms assemble very quickly into islands. We study and model the “window” in temperature and coverage parameter space where QSE-driven self organization is possible. These data are modeled to extract the controlling barriers. This understanding will be used to search for other systems where height uniformity exists.
  • QSE and chemisorption. We test the effect of QSE on chemisorption in several systems, using both experiment (STM/STS, XPS, HRLEED) and theory. These systems include oxygen and hydrocarbons on Ag nanostructures on Si(111); and oxygen and hydrogen on Pb and Mg nanostructures.


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Liu X J; Wang C Z; Hupalo M; Lin H Q; Ho K M; Tringides M C . 2014. Quantum confinement induced oscillatory electric field on a stepped Pb(111) film and its influence on surface reactivity. Physical Review B. 89:041401. abstract
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Yuen C D; Miller G J; Lei H P; Wang C Z; Thiel P A . 2013. Structure of the clean Gd5Ge4(010) surface. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:485002. abstract
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Lei H P; Wang C Z; Yao Y X; Wang Y G; Hupalo M; McDougall D; Tringides M; Ho K M . 2013. Strain effect on the adsorption, diffusion, and molecular dissociation of hydrogen on Mg (0001) surface. Journal of Chemical Physics. 139:224702. abstract
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Matetskiy A V; Bondarenko L V; Gruznev D V; Zotov A V; Saranin A A; Tringides M C . 2013. Structural transformations in Pb/Si(111) phases induced by C-60 adsorption. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:100503. abstract
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Chromcova Z; Tringides M C; Chvoj Z . 2013. Nucleation on a stepped surface with an Ehrlich-Schwobel barrier. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:265003. abstract
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Hershberger M T; Hupalo M; Thiel P A; Tringides M C . 2013. Growth of fcc(111) Dy multi-height islands on 6H-SiC(0001) graphene. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:225005. abstract
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Zhang G P; Liu X J; Wang C Z; Yao Y X; Zhang J; Ho K M . 2013. Electronic and spin transport properties of graphene nanoribbon mediated by metal adatoms: a study by the QUAMBO-NEGF approach. Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter. 25:105302. abstract
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Man K L; Tringides M C; Loy M M T; Altman M S . 2013. Superdiffusive Motion of the Pb Wetting Layer on the Si(111) Surface. Physical Review Letters. 110:036104. abstract
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Shao D H; Liu X J; Lu N; Wang C Z; Ho K M; Tringides M C; Thiel P A . 2012. Effect of oxygen on the stability of Ag islands on Si(111)-7 x 7. Surface Science. 606:1871-1878. abstract
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Belianinov A; Unal B; Tringides M C; Thiel P A . 2012. Creating nanoscale Ag patterns on the Si(111)-(root 3 x root 3)R30 degrees-Ag surface via guided self-assembly. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B. 30:050601. abstract
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