Atomic Structure of Surfaces

Part of the Springer Series in Surface Sciences book series (SSSUR, volume 30)


Even though the surface of a crystal may appear very smooth at the first glance, the experimental evidence shows that it is heterogeneous at a microscopic scale, i.e., when observed with an electron microscope. It exhibits steps with various heights separating domains made of atomic planes in which point defects such as adatoms, advacancies and kinks can be detected. This is the so called TLK (Terrace, Ledge, Kink) model (Fig. 3.1). However, at the atomic scale, the surface of a crystal is well organized. Most atoms are found in ordered rows characterized by well defined interatomic distances. These domains extend over some tens of atomic rows, this size depending, obviously, on the preparation of the sample.


Atomic Structure Scan Tunneling Microscopy Reciprocal Lattice Scan Tunneling Microscopy Image Body Centered Cubic 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National de la Recherche Scientifique Service de Recherche sur les Surfaces et l’Irradiation de la MatièreCentre d’Etudes de SaclayFrance
  2. 2.National de la Recherche Scientifique Laboratoire de Physique des SolidesUniversité Paris-Sud Centre d’OrsayFrance

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