We present a high-speed scanning tunneling microscope (STM) study of the energetics and the thermal roughening transition of the Ag(115) surface. Using a statistical analysis of large numbers of STM images we directly determine the kink creation energy and the step interaction energy. From these two energies we predict the roughening temperature after the terrace-ledge-kink model of Villain et al. This prediction is compared with an experimental estimate of the roughening temperature, obtained from STM observations at elevated temperatures. In addition, we derive an interaction energy for two neighboring kinks.

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Journal Phys. Rev. B
Hoogeman, M. S, Schlößer, D. C, Sanders, J. -B, Kuipers, L, & Frenken, J. W. M. (1996). Surface energetics and thermal roughening of Ag(115) studied with STM movies. Phys. Rev. B, 53, 13299–13302.