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An In Situ STM Investigation of Stranski - Krastanov Growth of Ag on Au (111) Electrodes

  • S. G. Corcoran (a1), G. S. Chakarova (a1) and K. Sieradzki (a1)


We present in situ scanning tunneling Microscopy (STM) results which show the morphological aspects of Ag electrodeposition on Au (111). The experimental conditions enabled us to follow, in real time, with monolayer resolution, the morphological details of Stranski-Krastanov (SK) growth under a fixed electrochemical potential (constant supersaturation). Two epitaxial layers of Ag were sequentially formed prior to the heterogeneous nucleation of three-dimensional Ag crystallites. STM images are presented showing that the second silver monolayer has a coarsened (surface) diffusion-limited-aggregation growth front. IMMediately after the completion of the second silver monolayer which took approximately five Minutes, we observed the formation of 3D clusters preferentially at step edges. Our analysis of the SK growth process indicates that it is not well described by heterogeneous-nucleation thermodynamics owing to the almost identical lattice parameters of Ag and Au. Instead, we argue that the wetting-nonwetting transition we observed was kinetically stabilized by the relatively high activation energy involved with the motion of Ag adatoms over a descending Ag step.



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An In Situ STM Investigation of Stranski - Krastanov Growth of Ag on Au (111) Electrodes

  • S. G. Corcoran (a1), G. S. Chakarova (a1) and K. Sieradzki (a1)


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