Disorder or complexity? Understanding a nanoscale template structure on alumina

Autor(en): Gritschneder, Sebastian
Becker, Conrad
Wandelt, Klaus
Reichling, Michael 
Stichwörter: Chemistry; Chemistry, Multidisciplinary; FILM; GATE DIELECTRICS; NI3AL(111); SURFACES
Erscheinungsdatum: 2007
Herausgeber: AMER CHEMICAL SOC
Journal: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Volumen: 129
Ausgabe: 16
Startseite: 4925
Seitenende: 4928
Zusammenfassung: 
One strategy in creating functional nanostructures is templating where active nanoparticles are arranged on a regular nanoscale array of anchor sites on an inert substrate. An extraordinarily well ordered substrate with a 4.2 nm template periodicity is an alumina (aluminum oxide) film grown on a Ni3Al(111) metallic alloy support. Templating on the alumina film is facilitated by a dot and a network superstructure that can readily be prepared but has not yet been understood at the atomic scale. By imaging the alumina surface with dynamic scanning force microscopy (SFM) operated in the noncontact mode (NC-AFM), we reveal that the main structural element of the oxide film is a lattice of hexagons with a 0.29 nm side length that is pinned to the 0.51 nm periodicity of the substrate. The surface unit cell is defined by distinguished sites forming the dot structure. Pinning the oxide film to the substrate furthermore results in a honeycomb-like topographic modulation referred to as the network structure. These findings demonstrate how long range order is generated by the superposition of complex structures that locally exhibit apparent atomic disorder.
ISSN: 00027863
DOI: 10.1021/ja065118f

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