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Nucleation and growth of a quasicrystalline monolayer: Bi adsorption on the five-fold surface of i-Al70Pd21Mn9

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Preprint
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DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.075407
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arXiv
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Abstract

Scanning tunnelling microscopy has been used to study the formation of a Bi monolayer deposited on the five-fold surface of i-Al70Pd21Mn9. Upon deposition of low sub-monolayer coverages, the nucleation of pentagonal clusters of Bi adatoms of edge length 4.9 A is observed. The clusters have a common orientation leading to a film with five-fold symmetry. By inspection of images where both the underlying surface and the Bi atoms are resolved, the pentagonal clusters are found to nucleate on pseudo-Mackay clusters truncated such that a Mn atom lies centrally in the surface plane. The density of these sites is sufficient to form a quasiperiodic framework, and subsequent adsorption of Bi atoms ultimately leads to the formation of a quasicrystalline monolayer. The initial nucleation site is different to that proposed on the basis of recent density functional theory calculations.

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