Relationship between domain-boundary free energy and the temperature dependence of stress-domain patterns

Raoul van Gastel, N.C. Bartelt, P.J. Feibelman, F. Leonard, G.L. Kellogg

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Pb deposition on Cu(111) causes the surface to self-assemble into periodically arranged domains of a Pb-rich phase and a Pb-poor phase. Using low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) we provide evidence that the observed temperature-dependent periodicity of these self-assembled domain patterns is the result of changing domain-boundary free energy. We determine the free energy of boundaries at different temperatures from a capillary wave analysis of the thermal fluctuations of the boundaries and find that it varies from 22 meV/nm at 600 K to 8 meV/nm at 650 K. Combining this result with previous measurements of the surface stress difference between the two phases we find that the theory of surface-stress-induced domain formation can quantitatively account for the observed periodicities.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)245413-
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-221921
  • IR-49480

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