Tip-surface interactions in STM experiments on Au(111): Atomic-scale metal friction
Groupe de Physique des Solides (CNRS, Unité associée
040017), Universités Paris 6 et 7 - 2 place Jussieu,
75251 Paris Cedex 05, France
Accepted: 15 April 1996
Large morphological changes of Au(111) surfaces can be induced by interaction with a probe tip in typical STM conditions. Gold atoms are transferred from steps on the surface to the tip by a process reminiscent of junction formation in metal friction. In the first passage of the step, up to fifty atoms may be transferred; after this interaction, the step is inactivated for about 1 second, possibly by removal of adsorbates.
PACS: 46.30.Pa – Friction, wear, adherence, hardness, mechanical contacts, and tribology / 61.16.Ch – Scanning probe microscopy: scanning tunneling, atomic force, magnetic, etc / 68.35.-p – Solid surfaces and solid-solid interfaces
© EDP Sciences, 1996