Anisotropic scattering of surface state electrons at a point defect on Bi(111)
Scanning tunneling microscopy was applied to study the lateral variation of the local density of electronic states on the Bi(111) surface in the vicinity of a point defect. At an energy close to the Fermi level a characteristic pattern with a threefold symmetry is found. The pattern can be attributed to the scattering between two electronic surface states which are split by spin orbit coupling. The observation is well described by the superposition of three monochromatic waves. The phase of the waves relative to the center of the defect leads to a reduction to a threefold symmetry.
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