U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Surface Science 605 (2011) 903–911



The growth of magnesium on ruthenium has been studied by low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In LEEM, a layer-by-layer growth is observed except in the first monolayer, where the completion of the first layer in inferred by a clear peak in electron reflectivity. Desorption from the films is readily observable at 400 K. Real-space STM and low-energy electron diffraction confirm that sub-monolayer coverage presents a moiré pattern with a 12 Å periodicity, which evolves with further Mg deposition by compressing the Mg layer to a 22 Å periodicity. Layer-by-layer growth is followed in LEEM up to 10 ML. On films several ML thick a substantial density of stacking faults are observed by dark-field imaging on large terraces of the substrate, while screw dislocations appear in the stepped areas. The latter are suggested to result from the mismatch in heights of the Mg and Ru steps. Quantum size effect oscillations in the reflected LEEM intensity are observed as a function of thickness, indicating an abrupt Mg/Ru interface.