Publication
Physical Review Letters
Paper

Charge-State-Dependent Diffusion of Individual Gold Adatoms on Ionic Thin NaCl Films

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Abstract

It is known that individual metal atoms on insulating ionic films can occur in several different (meta)stable charge states, which can be reversibly switched in a controlled fashion. Here we show that the diffusion of gold adatoms on NaCl thin films depends critically on their charge state. Surprisingly, the anionic species has a lower diffusion barrier than the neutral one. Furthermore, for the former we observe that the diffusion atop a bilayer of NaCl is strongly influenced by the interface between NaCl and the underlying copper substrate. This effect disappears for a trilayer of NaCl. These observations open the prospect of controlling the diffusion properties of individual metal atoms on thin insulating films.

Date

30 Sep 2016

Publication

Physical Review Letters

Authors

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