Real-space measurement of surface roughening
We use variable-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) combined with pattern recognition of STM images to demonstrate that the vicinal Ag(115) surface undergoes a true Kosterlitz-Thouless(KT)-type roughening transition. As predicted, the height correlation function remains finite below the roughening temperature and it evolves to a logarithmically diverging function at and above TR. From a quantitative analysis of the height fluctuations we derive a roughening temperature of TR= 465 ± 25 K. Recent diffraction experiments could not confirm a KT-type roughening transition on vicinal surfaces. We attribute this to small residual errors in local surface orientation, which overshadow the real thermally excited height fluctuations.
|Journal||Phys. Rev. Lett.|
Hoogeman, M. S, Klik, M. A. J, Schlößer, D. C, Kuipers, L, & Frenken, J. W. M. (1999). Real-space measurement of surface roughening. Phys.Rev.Lett., 82, 1728–1731.