Anomalous Surface Diffusion of C60 and Anisotropic Growth of Nano Islands on Ni(111)
The migration behavior of C60 on Ni(111) has been inferred from its growth morphology at various substrate temperatures, as observed with scanning tunneling microscopy. The number density of islands increased and their average sizes decreased anomalously in the temperature range of ∼573 K to ∼973 K. This trend contradicts the prediction in conventional nucleation theory. At low and high temperatures, C60 commence nucleation on both sides of surface steps in a "bi-directional step flow" mode. However, anisotropy occurs within an intermediate temperature range, in which C60 nucleate predominantly at upper step edges. Surprisingly, in-situ growth measurements at this intermediate temperature range revealed that C60 actually start nucleating from lower step edges, with concomitant formation of Ni terraces underneath. These anomalous thermal dependence of diffusivity and the peculiar growth morphology of C60 on Ni(111) are attributed to C60-induced reconstruction of Ni(111) at higher temperature.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 February 2008
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