We have studied the morphologies of the TaC(310), (210), and (110) surfaces using scanning tunneling microscopy. Heating the crystals to high temperatures activates a faceting of these surfaces into a hill-and-valley structure consisting of enlarged (100) terraces and (010) step walls. Step-separation distributions obtained from these surfaces can be well fit by sharp Gaussians and are much narrower than predicted for the noninteracting terrace-step-kink model, indicating a strong repulsive interaction exists between steps on the faceted surfaces. This faceting is suggested to be driven by a decrease in the total step repulsive energy through a reduction of the total number of step pairs.
Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science
© 1996 American Physical Society
Zuo, J-K., J. M. Carpinelli, D. M. Zehner, and J. F. Wendelken. "Scanning-tunneling-microscopy study of faceting on high-step-density TaC surfaces." Physical Review B 53, no. 23 (1996): 16013.
Physical Review B