Observing Surface Diffusion at the Atomic Level
The preceding paper was concerned solely with diffusion of isolated adatoms across low-index surfaces. Indeed in many discussions of surface diffusion this is often the only process considered other than detachment of adatoms from kink sites. This is not unreasonable when the adatom concentration is low, but there are many practical situations when this is not true. For example, in thin film growth adatom concentrations may be high and then interaction and aggregation of adatoms and the properties of the aggregates become important. The interactions between adatoms, the structure and diffusion of clusters, and cluster growth or decay are all amenable to direct study by field ion microscopy. The following sections review the experimental methods used in such studies and survey the interesting and often unexpected results that have been obtained.
KeywordsMutual Inter Cluster Diffusion Unit Mesh Pair Diffusion Metal Adatom
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