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SEM/SAM Systems

Auger Electron Spectrosopy is still widely used as an alternative to XPS for surface chemical analysis. Because of the by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude smaller small spot sizes, that electron sources can reach in comparison to X-ray sources, the analysis area is much smaller. Even so small, that an SEM image can be recorded and correlated to the elemental distribution. Often a combination with XPS and UPS makes sense to obtain additonal information on surface potentials and the electronic structure.



  1. (2021) In situ identification of the metallic state of Ag nanoclusters in oxidative dispersion

    Oxidative dispersion has been widely used in regeneration of sintered metal catalysts and fabrication of single atom catalysts, which is attributed to an oxidation-induced dispersion mechanism. However, the interplay of gas-metal-support interaction in the dispersion processes, especially the gas-metal interaction has not been well illustrated. Here, we show dynamic dispersion of silver nanostructures on silicon nitride surface under reducing/oxidizing conditions and during carbon monoxide oxidation reaction. Utilizing environmental scanning (transmission) electron microscopy and near-ambient pressure photoelectron spectroscopy/photoemission electron microscopy, we unravel a new adsorption-induced dispersion mechanism in such a typical oxidative dispersion process. The strong gas-metal interaction achieved by chemisorption of oxygen on nearly-metallic silver nanoclusters is the internal driving force for dispersion. In situ observations show that the dispersed nearly-metallic silver nanoclusters are oxidized upon cooling in oxygen atmosphere, which could mislead to the understanding of oxidation-induced dispersion. We further understand the oxidative dispersion mechanism from the view of dynamic equilibrium taking temperature and gas pressure into account, which should be applied to many other metals such as gold, copper, palladium, etc. and other reaction conditions.

    Rongtan Li, Xiaoyan Xu, Beien Zhu, Xiao-Yan Li, Yanxiao Ning, Rentao Mu, Pengfei Du, Mengwei Li, Huike Wang, Jiajie Liang, Yongsheng Chen, Yi Gao, Bing Yang, Qiang Fu & Xinhe Bao
    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2021) 12:1406
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  2. (2021) Stacking Relations and Substrate Interaction of Graphene on Copper Foil

    The crystallinity of graphene flakes and their orientation with respect to the Cu(111) substrate are investigated by means of low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM). The interplay between graphene and the metal substrate during chemical vapor deposition (CVD) introduces a restructuring of the metal surface into surface facets, which undergo a step bunching process during the growth of additional layers. Moreover, the surface facets introduce strain between the successively nucleated layers that follow the topography in a carpet-like fashion. The strain leads to dislocations in between domains of relaxed Bernal stacking. After the transfer onto an epitaxial buffer layer, the imprinted rippled structure of even monolayer graphene as well as the stacking dislocations are preserved. A similar behavior might also be expected for other CVD grown 2D materials such as hexagonal boron nitride or transition metal dichalcogenides, where stacking relations after transfer on a target substrate or heterostructure could become important in future experiments.

    P. Sch├Ądlich, F. Speck, C. Bouhafs, N. Mishra, S.Forti, C. Coletti, and T. Seyller
    Adv. Funct. Mater, Volume 8, Issue 7, April 9, 2021, 2002025
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  3. (2020) Silicon Carbide Stacking-Order-Induced Doping Variation in Epitaxial Graphene

    Generally, it is supposed that the Fermi level in epitaxial graphene is controlled by two effects: p-type polarization doping induced by the bulk of the hexagonal silicon carbide (SiC)(0001) substrate and overcompensation by donor-like states related to the buffer layer. The presented work is evidence that this effect is also related to the specific underlying SiC terrace. Here a periodic sequence of non-identical SiC terraces is fabricated, which are unambiguously attributed to specific SiC surface terminations. A clear correlation between the SiC termination and the electronic graphene properties is experimentally observed and confirmed by various complementary surface-sensitive methods. This correlation is attributed to a proximity effect of the SiC termination-dependent polarization doping on the overlying graphene layer. These findings open a new approach for a nano-scale doping-engineering by the self-patterning of epitaxial graphene and other 2D layers on dielectric polar substrates.

    D. M. Pakdehi, P. Sch├Ądlich, T. T. N. Nguyen, A. A. Zakharov, S. Wundrack, E. Najafidehaghani, F. Speck, K. Pierz, T. Seyller, C. Tegenkamp, and H. W. Schumacher
    Adv. Funct. Mater, Volume 30, Issue 45, November 4, 2020, 2004695
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  4. (2015) Low-Energy Electron Potentiometry: Contactless Imaging of Charge Transport on the Nanoscale

    Charge transport measurements form an essential tool in condensed matter physics. The usual approach is to contact a sample by two or four probes, measure the resistance and derive the resistivity, assuming homogeneity within the sample. A more thorough understanding, however, requires knowledge of local resistivity variations. Spatially resolved information is particularly important when studying novel materials like topological insulators, where the current is localized at the edges, or quasi-two-dimensional (2D) systems, where small-scale variations can determine global properties. Here, we demonstrate a new method to determine spatially-resolved voltage maps of current-carrying samples. This technique is based on low-energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and is therefore quick and non-invasive. It makes use of resonance-induced contrast, which strongly depends on the local potential. We demonstrate our method using single to triple layer graphene. However, it is straightforwardly extendable to other quasi-2D systems, most prominently to the upcoming class of layered van der Waals materials.

    J. Kautz, J. Jobst, C. Sorger, R. M. Tromp, H. B. Weber und S. J. van der Molen
    Scientific Reports volume 5, Article number: 13604 (2015)
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