Imaging diffusion fields on a surface with multiple reconstructions: Ag/Si(111)
Photoemission electron microscopy is used for studying the thermal decay of Ag islands grown epitaxially on a Si(111) surface. During the decay, the islands feed adatoms to the surrounding surface. The adatoms diffuse and eventually desorb, resulting in a radial coverage gradient that induces the formation of two concentric reconstructed zones, namely and (3×1), around each island. We have developed a diffusion model to describe this multizone formation and demonstrate how diffusion constants can be determined for different reconstructed phases in a simple experiment.
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