Quantum Size Effects in Adatom Island Decay

Karina Morgenstern, Erik Lægsgaard, Flemming Besenbacher
2005 Physical Review Letters  
The decay of hexagonal Ag adatom islands on top of larger Ag adatom islands on a Ag(111) surface is followed by a fast scanning tunneling microscope. Islands do not always show the expected increase in decay rate with decreasing island size. Rather, distinct quantum size effects are observed where the decay rate decreases significantly for islands with diameters of 6 nm, 9.3 nm, 12.6 nm, and 15.6 nm. We show that electron confinement of the surface state electrons is responsible for this
more » ... ble for this enhancement of the detachment barrier for adatoms from the island edge.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.94.166104 pmid:15904250 fatcat:dyn3zalpzjb25iwmsgfamrcqp4