Investigation of mercury adsorption on gold films by STM

M. A. George, W. S. Glaunsinger, T. Thundat, Stuart Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Scanning tunnelling microscopy, combined with complementary electrical and analytical measurements, provides a powerful method for examining the behaviour of mercury on gold‐film sensors under actual sensor operating conditions. The films exhibit a linear increase in resistance upon adsorption of mercury, and this resistive change is accompanied by a decrease in measured barrier height at submonolayer coverages of mercury. STM studies of changes in the effective barrier height upon mercury adsorption provide evidence that mercury migrates to grain boundaries for films exposed at submonolayer coverages. Coverages in excess of a monolayer result in a nearly constant, reduced effective barrier height across the entire surface, which is indicative of a more uniform distribution of mercury over the surface. This behaviour is interpreted in terms of the adsorption of mercury onto defective, contaminated gold surfaces. 1988 Blackwell Science Ltd

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-713
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


  • gold films
  • Mercury adsorption
  • scanning tunnelling microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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