Fluctuations on metal surfaces and molecule/metal interfaces
Williams, Ellen D
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We combine the tools of statistical mechanics with direct imaging at the atomic scale, using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to observe and characterize intrinsic fluctuation properties on surfaces and interfaces, and further explore how these properties are affected by current, the electromigration problem. Fluctuation properties of steps and islands on metal surfaces, twin boundaries on metal nanowires, are investigated and the underneath mass transport mechanisms are determined. Then we has studied how mass transport properties are affected by undesirable impurity on surfaces or deposited molecules, especially we focus on island shape change and fluctuations of molecule/metal interfaces. For the organic-metal system, we further investigate related electromigration properties, and find island migration and step bend due to wind force. Finally, organic thin films are also investigated, including the novel 2D chiral structure, and phase boundary fluctuations in an organic thin film. All these studies not only are important in the fundamental physics, but also provide basic and useful information for designing and building future organic electronic devices.