Reversible atomic modification of nanostructures on surfaces using direction-depended tip-surface interaction with a trimer-apex tip

Yiqun Xie; Liuxue Ma; Peng Zhang; Xiulong Cai; Wenxian Zhang; Fuxi Gan; Xi-Jing Ning; Jun Zhuang
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/17/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 7, p073105
Academic Journal
Using first-principles simulations, we propose a simple mechanism and an easy-controlled method for reversible modification of supported nanoclusters on surfaces with atomic precision. As illustrated, individual atoms at edges of a Al nanocluster on a Al(111) surface can be extracted vertically and repositioned with a Al trimer-apex tip, which allows to rearrange a ten-atom hexagonal nanocluster to a triangular one in a reversible way. The governing mechanism is the atomic tip-surface interaction whose distinct dependence on directions plays a key role in manipulations.


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