Direct observation of a new growth mode: subsurface island growth of Cu on Pb(111)

C. Nagl, E. Platzgummer, M. Schmid, P. Varga, S. Speller* and W. Heiland*

Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, A-1040 Wien, Austria
*Fachbereich Physik, Universität Osnabrück, D-49069 Osnabrück, Germany

Phys. Rev. Lett. 75 (1995) 2976-2979 and 76 (1996) 3240 (E)

Atomically resolved scanning tunneling microscopy on Cu/Pb (111) reveals a new growth mode, contrary to the Volmer-Weber mode expected from the significantly lower surface energy of Pb. (111)-oriented Cu islands with a thickness of 3 - 11 layers are immersed in the Pb substrate and covered by a single close-packed Pb layer. This sub-surface growth mode occurring at room temperature can be explained by simple thermodynamic considerations.

Corresponding author: M. Schmid (schmid< encoded email address >).

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Please note that the atomically resolved STM images have been reproduced incorrectly in this article. The correct versions of fig. 2 and fig. 3 in this article are shown in the errata (PRL vol. 76, p. 3240) and on the web in the IAP/TU Wien STM Gallery (see the Cu on Pb page).