Fundamentals of Au(111) Surface Dynamics: Coarsening of 2D Au Islands
Au(111) surfaces play a central role in many applications, yet studies of fundamental aspects of their dynamics are limited. Thus, using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) at 300 K, we analyze the coarsening of first-layer 2D Au islands directly on the Au(111) substrate, and also of second-layer 2D Au islands. Specifically, we monitor the decay of Au first-layer islands with areas of about 100-500 nm^2 in the vicinity of larger islands or extended step edges over a period of approximately 40 hours - the relevant time scale for this process. Experimentally observed behavior is captured by analytic theory for terrace-diffusion-limited decay incorporating DFT results for the Au terrace diffusion barrier and the adatom formation energy. Experimental observations of second layer island decay were also compared with appropriate analytic theory and stochastic simulations, thereby determining the effective Ehrlich-Schwoebel barrier for Au on Au(111).
This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b12056. Posted with permission.