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Direct Observation of X-ray Induced Atomic Motion Using Scanning Tunneling Microscope Combined with Synchrotron Radiation

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X-ray induced atomic motion on a Ge(111)-c(2 × 8) clean surface at room temperature was directly observed with atomic resolution using a synchrotron radiation (SR)-based scanning tunneling microscope (STM) system under ultra high vacuum condition. The atomic motion was visualized as a tracking image by developing a method to merge the STM images before and after X-ray irradiation. Using the tracking image, the atomic mobility was found to be strongly affected by defects on the surface, but was not dependent on the incident X-ray energy, although it was clearly dependent on the photon density. The atomic motion can be attributed to surface diffusion, which might not be due to core-excitation accompanied with electronic transition, but a thermal effect by X-ray irradiation. The crystal surface structure was possible to break even at a lower photon density than the conventionally known barrier. These results can alert X-ray studies in the near future about sample damage during measurements, while suggesting the possibility of new applications. Also the obtained results show a new availability of the in-situ SR-STM system.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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