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Surface diffusion on the atomic scale

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How do metal atoms diffuse over a surface? We have carried out extensive studies with the field ion microscope, and by determining the distribution of atom displacements over the surface we are able to deduce the nature of the jumps in the diffusion process. From these studies it appears that even at relatively low temperatures, diffusion occurs preferentially by longer jumps rather than by nearest-neighbor transitions. How do organic molecules move over a surface? I will present a study of the diffusion of phthalocyanine on the silver (100) surface in the STM . I will discuss the importance of the chemical identity of the central atom of pthalocyanine for the thermal motion of quasi-isolated molecules, the ratio of translational to rotational transitions, and adsorption geometry.

This talk is part of the Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group series.

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