Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 4, August 2004
Page(s) 627 - 633
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 01 August 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (4), pp. 627-633 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10087-7

Monatomic steps on reconstructed $\chem{Au(111)}$: A long-period diffraction grating for surface electron waves

M. Wenderoth, K. J. Engel and R. G. Ulbrich

IV. Physikalisches Institut der Universität Göttingen Tammannstr. 1, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany

(Received 14 January 2004; accepted in final form 4 June 2004)

The interference pattern of surface state electrons which are scattered from monatomic steps on the $\chem{Au(111)}$ surface is studied with Scanning Thermovoltage Microscopy at 80 kelvin. The step contours are periodically modulated by the underlying herringbone $22\times\sqrt 3$ surface reconstruction and act like a long-period diffraction grating. This leads to a characteristic rhomb-shaped interference pattern in front of the step (Talbot effect). A simulation of electron scattering from such steps shows good agreement with our experiments and allows the interpretation of earlier data in a new and consistent way. We rule out the confinement of surface states due to the reconstruction potential is responsible for the observed wave pattern.

73.20.At - Surface states, band structure, electron density of states.
72.10.Fk - Scattering by point defects, dislocations, surfaces, and other imperfections (including Kondo effect).
68.37.Ef - Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM).

© EDP Sciences 2004