Cluster 'contact epitaxy'- direct evidence for novel particle: substrate interactions

M. Yeadon, J. C. Yang, M. Ghaly, R. S. Averback, J. M. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this paper we describe observations of novel interactions between clusters of Ag deposited on the clean (001) Cu surface. The experiments are analogous to those performed by Gleiter and co-workers in the 1970's, where grain boundary orientations in particles of Cu and Ag supported on single crystal metal substrates were studied. Upon annealing close to the melting point, these particles (∼10-100pm in diameter) were found to rotate on the surface, forming low-energy grain boundary configurations with the substrate. The particles studied in : our experiments are ∼104 times smaller, and show rather different behavior. In the case of Ag nanoparticles we have observed a novel phenomenon, which we call 'contact epitaxy', involving the formation of several monolayers of epitaxially oriented Ag at the Cu surface upon contact between this surface and the Ag cluster. The phenomenon may be understood from molecular dynamics simulations of the 'soft impact' between the nanoparticle and surface, which indicate that the ordered layers form within picoseconds of contact. We will discuss the mechanisms by which 'contact epitaxy' is believed to occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 MRS Spring Meeting - Symposium on 'Epitaxial Growth-Principles and Applications' - San Frnacisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 5 1999Apr 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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