Visualization of thermally fluctuating surface structure in noncontact atomic-force microscopy and tip effects on fluctuation: theoretical study of Si(111)-(square root x square root)-Ag surface.
We investigated noncontact atomic-force microscopy (NC-AFM) images of a thermally fluctuating surface structure together with tip effects based on the first-principles electronic state calculation. As an example the Si(111)-(square root x square root)-Ag (square root-Ag) surface is studied. We have succeeded in theoretically visualizing the thermal fluctuation of the square root-Ag surface at room temperature, and in reproducing the observed NC-AFM image for the first time. Further, the pinning effect of the thermal fluctuation of the square root-Ag surface by the tip is clarified, which shows a novel ability of NC-AFM to modify the surface structure.
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The corresponding record at NLM can be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11801146