Adatom dynamics and the surface reconstruction of Si(110) revealed using time-resolved electron microscopy

Tom Furnival, Daniel Knez*, Eric Schmidt, Rowan K. Leary, Gerald Kothleitner, Ferdinand Hofer, Paul D. Bristowe, Paul Midgley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface dynamics lie at the heart of many areas of materials and chemical science, including heterogeneous catalysis, epitaxial growth and device fabrication. Characterizing the dynamics of surface adsorption, reactions and diffusion at the atomic scale is crucial to understanding and controlling such processes. Here we use aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy to analyze the diffusive behavior of Pt atoms adsorbed on the Si(110) surface, and characterize the effects of the electron beam on adatom motion, including a bias introduced by the raster scan of the probe. We further observe the evolution of the Si(110) surface, revealing evidence of developing surface steps attributed to the 16×2 surface reconstruction. These results demonstrate a framework for studying complex atomic-scale surface dynamics using aberration-corrected electron microscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183104
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Atom surface interaction
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
  • Machine Learning
  • surface modification and engineering

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

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