We report scanning tunneling microscopy and low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) observations for thin films of Nb (011) of stripe-phase behavior by two variants of an O-induced reconstruction. Stripes occur for thin films but not bulk crystals. At low temperatures the less-favored variant is thermally activated as single stripes on surface heterogeneities. Near T0 = 1505 K, where the reconstruction is lifted, the stripes crowd to form a periodic array with a temperature dependent spacing. LEEM permits quantitative insight into stripe behavior and reveals novel details of stripes interacting with topographic features such as steps, facets, and dislocations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)