Pb deposition on I-coated Au(111). UHV-EC and EC-STM studies
This article concerns the growth of an atomic layer of Pb on the Au(111)(root 3 x root 3)R30 degrees-I structure. The importance of this study lies in the use of Pb underpotential deposition (UPD) as a sacrificial layer in surface-limited redox replacement (SLRR). SLRR reactions are being applied in the formation of metal nanofilms via electrochemical atomic layer deposition (ALD). Pb UPD is a surface-limited reaction, and if it is placed in a solution of ions of a more noble metal, redox replacement can occur, but limited by the amount of Pb present. Pb UPD is a candidate for use as a sacrificial layer for replacement by any more noble element. It has been used by this group for both Cu and Pt nanofilm formation using electrochemical ALD. The I atom layer was intended to facilitate electrochemical annealing during nanofilm growth. Two distinctly different Pb atomic layer structures are reported, studied using in situ scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with an electrochemical flow cell and ultrahigh vacuum surface analysis combined directly with electrochemical reactions (UHV-EC). Starting with the initial Au(111)(root 3 x root 3)R30 degrees-I, (1)/(3) monolayer of I on the Au(111) surface, Pb deposition began at approximately 0.1 V. The first Pb UPD structure was observed just below -0.2 V and displayed a (2 x root 3)-rect unit cell, for a structure composed of (1)/(4) monolayer each of Pb and I. The I atoms fit in Pb 4-fold sites, on the Au(111) surface. The structure was present in domains rotated by 120 degrees. Deposition to -0.4 V resulted in complete loss of the I atoms and formation of a Pb monolayer on the Au(111), which produced a Moire pattern, due to the Pb and Au lattice mismatch. These structures represent two well-defined starting points for the growth of nanofilms of other more noble elements. It is apparent from these studies that the adsorption of I- on Pb is weak, and it will rinse away. If Pb is used as a sacrificial metal in an electrochemical ALD cycle and adsorbed I atoms are employed for electrochemical annealing, I atoms will need to be applied each cycle.