Growth of a smooth epitaxial γ- film on the surface
Institut für Grenzflächenforschung und Vakuumphysik,
Forschungszentrum Jülich D-52425 Jülich, Germany
Corresponding author: C.Pflitsch@fz-juelich.de
Accepted: 27 November 2000
Iron films, grown on Cu(110) surfaces, are very rough when prepared under normal growth conditions. When Fe is deposited at room temperature, Stranski-Krastanov growth is observed, i.e. three-dimensional (3D) islands form. Here it is shown that a smooth 5 ML thick Fe film can be grown on the Cu(110) surface by depositing the film at low temperature () and subsequently anneal the film to 240 K. Since the thermodynamically stable state of the film is the state where the film has a rough surface, as found after deposition at room temperature, the smooth surface obtained by annealing after low-temperature deposition has to be considered as metastable. Long-time stability of the smooth film, i.e. for periods of several hours, was found at 140 K and below. Keeping the film at a temperature of 240 K or above results in the formation of large 3D islands as evidenced by the formation of (111) facets. The mechanism on which the preparation of the smooth film is based is discussed in terms of a competition between smoothening of the outermost surface layer and nucleation and growth of holes in the film which leads to the formation of 3D islands.
PACS: 75.50.Bb – Fe and its alloys / 68.35.Bs – Surface structure and topography / 61.18.Bn – Atom, molecule, and ion scattering
© EDP Sciences, 2001