Exploring bottom-up procedures to achieve island and particles with a defined size can open opportunities in many applications. This contribution focuses on the growth of epitaxial Tm islands, below the monolayer range, on the W(110) surface by studying in situ the diffusion process at high temperature, between 700 and 1200 K, by means of scanning tunnel microscopy (STM) to determine the topography of the Tm deposits as a function of the coverage and thermal treatments of an initial room temperature deposit. Samples subject to a prolonged heating process, spending several hours at temperatures below 700 K, show that the average Tm islands size remains constant at higher temperatures, in contrast with samples subject to a faster heating. It is observed that the presence of carbon strongly limits the diffusion of Tm, thus leading to the formation of pseudomorphic nanometric islands instead of a full monolayer.
Part of the book: Epitaxy