Probing the buried C-60/Au(111) interface with atoms

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To characterize the C-60/Au(111) interface, we send Au atoms "diving" through the C-60 layer and observe their behavior at the interface. Our observations show that the interfacial diffusion of gold atoms and the nucleation of small Au islands at the interface are strongly dependent on the local C-60-Au(111) bonding which varies from one domain to another. The contrast-disordered domain consisting of a large fraction of molecules bonded to Au vacancies has a special structure at the interface allowing Au atoms to be inserted beneath the bright-looking molecules while the dim molecules present a much stronger resistance to the diffusing Au atoms. This leads to the formation of isolated Au islands with discrete sizes, with the smallest island just about 1 nm across
Original languageEnglish
Article number214706
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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