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Growth of germanium on Au(111): formation of germanene or intermixing of Au and Ge atoms?

Phys Chem Chem Phys; 2017 Jul 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28686267


We studied the growth of Ge layers on Au(111) under ultra-high vacuum conditions from the submonolayer regime up to a few layers with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Direct Recoiling Spectroscopy (DRS) and Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED). Most STM images for the thicker layers are consistent with a commensurate 5 × 8 arrangement. The high surface sensitivity of TOF-DRS allows us to confirm the coexistence of Au and Ge atoms in the top layer for all stages of growth. An estimation of the Au to Ge ratio at the surface of the thick layer gives about 1 Au atom per 2 Ge ones. When the growth is carried out at sample temperatures higher than about 420 K, a fraction of the deposited Ge atoms migrate into the bulk of Au. This incorporation of Ge into the bulk reduces the growth rate of the Ge films, making it more difficult to obtain films thicker than a few layers. After sputtering the Ge/Au surface, the segregation of bulk Ge atoms to the surface occurs for temperatures ≥600 K. The surface obtained after segregation of Ge reaches a stable condition (saturation) with an n × n symmetry with n on the order of 14.