C60 superstructure and carbide formation on the Al-terminated Al9Co2(001) surface

Abstract : We report the formation of an ordered C60 monolayer on the Al9Co2(001) surface using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), x-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/UPS), and ab initio calculations. Dosing fullerenes at 300 K results in a disordered overlayer. However, the adsorption of C 60 with the sample held between 573–673 K leads to a [4, −2|1,3] phase. The growth of C60 proceeds with the formation of two domains which are mirror symmetric with respect to the [100] direction. Within each domain, the superstructure unit cell contains six molecules and this implies an area per fullerene equal to 91 A^2. The molecules exhibit two types of contrast (bright and dim) which are bias dependent. The adsorption energies and preferred molecular configuration at several possible adsorption sites have been determined theoretically. These calculations lead to a possible scheme describing the configuration of each C60 in the observed superstructure. Several defects (vacancies, protrusions,. . .) and domain boundaries observed in the film are also discussed. If the sample temperature is higher than 693 K when dosing, impinging C60 molecules dissociate at the surface, hence leading to the formation of a carbide film as observed by STM and LEED measurements. The formation of Al4C3 domains and the molecular dissociation are confirmed by XPS/UPS measurements acquired at different stages of the experiment. The cluster substructure present at the Al9Co2(001) surface dictates the carbide domain orientations.
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Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 〈10.1103/PhysRevB.91.155418〉
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J. Ledieu, É. Gaudry, M.-C. De Weerd, P. Gille, R. D. Diehl, et al.. C60 superstructure and carbide formation on the Al-terminated Al9Co2(001) surface. Physical Review B : Condensed matter and materials physics, American Physical Society, 2015, 〈10.1103/PhysRevB.91.155418〉. 〈hal-01218345〉

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