Atomic-resolution micrographs of small metal particles and extended gold surfaces are presented which demonstrate that detailed surface morphology, including mono-atomic steps and facetting, can be imaged directly in profile. Recent results are briefly reviewed, and further observations are described which concentrate upon dynamic changes in the surface structure. Following electron-beam-induced etching of the carbonaceous surface layer in the presence of water vapour, considerable macroscopic and microscopic rearrangements of the extended films, including surface diffusion, occur. Images recorded in a  projection indicate that the (111) surface expands outwards, developing a hill-and-valley morphology, and surface dislocations are seen. The (110) and (100) surfaces were generally microscopically rough with surface partial dislocations again visible on the latter. The presence of surface steps, particularly on (100), was found to have a marked effect on the overall direction of surface diffusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics