Jones, T.E., Noakes, T.C.Q., Bailey, Paul and Baddeley, C.J. (2006) The growth of ultrathin Au films on Ni{111}: A study with medium energy ion scattering. Surface Science, 600 (10). pp. 2129-2137. ISSN 0039-6028

The initial growth of Au on Ni{1 1 1} is strongly influenced by the 15.7% difference in bulk lattice parameter between the two fcc metals. At 400 K, the first monolayer of Au grows on the Ni{1 1 1} surface as a (9 × 9) overlayer with 8 Au–Au spacings being equivalent to 9 Ni–Ni spacings. Umezawa et al. [Physical Review B 57 (1998) 8842; Surface Science 426 (1999) 225] reported that the growth of Au overlayers can occur either via a reverse (R)-mode (i.e., incorporating a stacking fault at the Au–Ni interface) or a normal (N)-mode—the relative proportion of each mode being strongly sensitive to growth temperature. Using the technique of medium energy ion scattering, we examine the growth of Au on Ni{1 1 1} at 400 K. We conclude that, at this deposition temperature, there is a preference for growth via the R-mode (74 ± 9%). In addition, we find that the Au overlayer has a considerably higher density than bulk Au being contracted isotropically by 3.1% in the {1 1 1} plane and also by ∼7% perpendicular to the {1 1 1} plane. We discuss possible explanations for our findings.

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