Anomalous decay of electronically stabilized lead mesas on Ni(111)

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Abstract

With their low surface free energy, lead films tend to wet surfaces. However, quantum size effects (QSE) often lead to islands with distinct preferred heights. We study thin lead films on Ni(111) using low energy electron microscopy and selected area low energy electron diffraction. Indeed, the grown lead mesas show distinct evidence for QSE’s. At about 526 K metastable mesas reshape into hemispheres within milliseconds, driven by a huge reduction in interfacial free energy. The underlying diffusion rate is many orders of magnitude faster than expected for lead on bulk lead
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136103-1-136103-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume107
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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