In this study of fabricated one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures of Fe adatoms on vicinal Au(111) surfaces, the growth mechanism and electronic structures are investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). STM observations reveal that dosed Fe atoms are trapped at the lower corners of the steps. They create nucleation centers near the intersections between steps and discommensuration lines, and grow into evenly spaced Fe fragments located at face-centered-cubic (fcc) stacking regions of the substrate. The connection of these fragments aligned along the steps results in the formation of Fe monatomic rows. As the Fe coverage increases, the Fe growth proceeds predominantly at the fcc stacking regions, and forms quasi-1D nanostructures with undulating edges. At an Fe coverage of ∼0.6 ML, the fast-growing parts connect with the adjacent Fe structures and a two-dimensional network structure is built up. ARPES measurements reveal that the decoration of the step edges with Fe has a significant influence on the periodic potential of the surface state electrons confined between the regularly arranged steps. On the surface with Fe monatomic rows, photoemission spectra measured in the direction perpendicular to the steps show a parabolic dispersion of the Au(111) surface state with downward energy shift of the band bottom; the clean surface, in contrast, shows two 1D quantum-well levels. A simple analysis using a 1D Kronig-Penny model reveals that the Fe decoration reduces the potential barrier height at the steps from 20 to 4.6 eV Å, suggesting that the Fe adatoms work as attractive scatterers and increase the probability of transmission through the barriers. Furthermore, for the higher Fe coverage, the spectra reflecting the electronic nature of the 1D nanostructures show little dispersion, suggesting that the Fe 3d states are localized in the 1D structures.
- Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy
- Scanning tunneling microscopy
- Vicinal substrate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)