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Properties of copper-tellurium chains on copper(111) unraveled

Top panel: Experimental methods to determine the surface atomic structure of the CuTe chains on Cu(111). From left to right: large-scale STM image showing the homogeneous coverage of the surface with the chains. Zoom into an area similar to the one marked with a square on the first image, the top-view model and the DFT STM image simulation are shown as insets. LEED pattern of the system, the intensity of the beams is used to determine the atomic structure. Bottom panel: From left to right: Details of the atomic structure and comparison to DFT. Electronic structure measured by ARPES/AR-2PPE, STS and calculated by DFT.

Combining the expertise of all groups at the chair of solid state physics we unraveled the structural and electronic properties of CuTe chains grown on Cu(111).

These chains form after the deposition of one-third of a monolayer of Te and a subsequent annealing step. They are extremely well ordered and cover the whole surface. By low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) intensity analysis, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and DFT we determine the structural parameters of this particular phase with picometer precision. Our analysis resolves long-standing discrepancies concerning this system found in literature. Using angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), the two-photon photoemission variant (AR-2PPE), scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) and DFT we explored the electronic properties of the CuTe chains. All relevant states could be identified with the employed methods and their electronic anisotropy was shown. One of the rare cases when science deals with “CuTe” chains.

Read all about it: Phys. Rev. B 102, 155422 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.102.155422) or https://arxiv.org/abs/2009.14618 (open access)