Single Crystal Surface Structure Studies with Static SIMS
When Benninghoven demonstrated the high surface sensitivity of SIMS and introduced static SIMS 14 years ago it was natural to ask the question: If static SIMS can be used to determine the composition of the surface, can it not also be used to determine the arrangement of its constituents, that is the atomic structure of the surface? We embarked on an attempt to answer this question 12 years ago and came to a conditional “no” a few years later. The “no” was conditional in the sense that SIMS gave no structural information which could not be obtained easier and/or more accurately using other methods for surface structure analysis. This answer and the supporting experimental results were never published so that it is not surprising that the discussion of the question is still continuing, stimulated in part by computer experiments of oxygen on (Cu(100) [1,2]),in part by the claim that the bonding site of CO on metal surfaces can be determined by SIMS  • The CO controversy (for references see [4,5]) is not very relevant from the point of view of practical surface structure analysis because the information extractable from SIMS is inferior to that obtainable with other methods and will, therefore, not be discussed here for lack of space.
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