Trant, A.G., Jones, T.E., Gustafson, J., Noakes, T.C.Q., Bailey, Paul and Baddeley, C.J. (2009) Alloy formation in the Au{111}/Ni system – An investigation with scanning tunnelling microscopy and medium energy ion scattering. Surface Science, 603 (3). pp. 571-579. ISSN 0039-6028

Using the techniques of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) and medium energy ion scattering (MEIS), we examine the growth and annealing behaviour of ultrathin Ni films on Au{1 1 1} at 300 K. As has been shown previously, submonolayer growth of Ni on Au{1 1 1} is strongly influenced by the presence of the herringbone reconstruction with two-dimensional clusters nucleating at herringbone elbows. Second layer growth commences prior to the completion of the monolayer. After multiple layers have been deposited, the surface morphology retains a similar cluster-like appearance. Annealing produces surfaces exhibiting long range Moiré structures and, at higher temperature, triangular misfit dislocations. We use MEIS to examine the composition and structure of these surface alloy phases and conclude that in each case, they consist of an essentially pure Au surface layer on a bimetallic second layer.

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