Accelerated coarsening of Ag adatom islands on Ag(111) due to trace amounts of S: Mass-transport mediated by Ag-S complexes

TitleAccelerated coarsening of Ag adatom islands on Ag(111) due to trace amounts of S: Mass-transport mediated by Ag-S complexes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsShen MM, Liu DJ, Jenks CJ, Thiel PA, Evans JW
Journal TitleJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume130
Pages094701
Date Published03/07
ISBN Number0021-9606
Accession NumberISI:000264522900023
Keywordsadsorbed layers, density functional theory, molecular-dynamics, monolayers, reaction kinetics theory, reaction-diffusion systems, scanning tunnelling microscopy, scanning-tunneling-microscopy, silver, silver compounds, surface chemistry, surface diffusion
Abstract

Scanning tunneling microscopy studies reveal that trace amounts of adsorbed S below a critical coverage on the order of 10 mML have little effect on the coarsening and decay of monolayer Ag adatom islands on Ag(111) at 300 K. In contrast, above this critical coverage, decay is greatly accelerated. This critical value appears to be determined by whether all S can be accommodated at step edges. Accelerated coarsening derives from the feature that the excess S (above that incorporated at steps) produces significant populations on the terraces of metal-sulfur complexes, which are stabilized by strong Ag-S bonding. These include AgS2, Ag2S2, Ag2S3, and Ag3S3. Such complexes are sufficiently populous and mobile that they can potentially lead to greatly enhanced metal mass transport across the surface. This picture is supported by density functional theory analysis of the relevant energetics, as well as by reaction-diffusion equation modeling to assess the mechanism and degree of enhanced coarsening.

URL<Go to ISI>://000264522900023
DOI10.1063/1.3078033