Segregation and chemical ordering in the surface layers of Pt25Co75(111): a LEED/STM study

Y. Gauthier, R. Baudoing-Savois, J.M. Bugnard, W. Hebenstreit*, M. Schmid*, P. Varga*

Laboratoire de Cristallographie, CNRS, BP 166 X, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09, France
*Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, A-1040 Wien, Austria

Surf. Sci. 466 (2000) 155-166

Segregation and chemical ordering on Pt25Co75(111) are studied by quantitative low energy electron diffraction (LEED) analysis and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). Although LEED patterns do not show any sign of superstructure, LEED calculations undoubtedly point to a surface which contains about the same amount of both species and reveal significant short range chemical ordering (down to the third layer). Pt and Co surface sites are locally arranged with a (1x2) unit cell, in the manner of the ordered tetragonal L10 phase. More direct evidence is given by STM images which exhibit parallel Pt and Co monoatomic chains a few lattice constants long and an apparent height difference of about 0.2 Å for Pt and Co sites. LEED shows that the Pt sublattice in the top layer actually resides 0.1 Å above the Co one. Otherwise the surface is bulklike, with weak relaxations of interlayer distances. The use of a chemically ordered model for the LEED analysis, in which sublattice occupancies are optimised, results in a remarkable improvement of the fit with experiment as compared to a totally random distribution; however, most interestingly, it does not modify the average layer concentration profile versus depth (55, 5 and 35 at% Pt respectively for the three outermost layers). The distortions needed for the tetragonal L10 phase with respect to the fcc L12 phase explains why chemical order does not extend over larger domains. Finally, both techniques yield complementary pictures and quite consistent results as to the top layer content and chemical order.

Corresponding author: Y. Gauthier (Grenoble). Reprints also available from M. Schmid (schmid< encoded email address >).

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