The present scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study describes the growth of silver-palladium heterostructures at room temperature, with ab initio simulations of ordered AgPd phases supporting the interpretation of STM images. First, the growth of Pd on an Ag(111) surface proceeds in a multilayer mode, leading to the formation of a columnar structure. Then, upon Ag deposition on this structure, Ag and Pd partially mix and form a two-dimensional AgPd alloy on top of the columns. Finally, an atomically flat Ag(111) surface is restored, and two-dimensional growth continues. An interpretation of this peculiar growth mode including interfacial alloying is proposed based on thermodynamic and kinetic arguments.
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Technological Platform Synthesis, Irradiation and Analysis of Materials
Facility/equipment: Technological Platform