The atomic structure of the threefold surface of the icosahedral AgInYb quasicrystal

C. Cui, P. J. Nugent, M. Shimoda, J. Ledieu, V. Fournée, A. P. Tsai, R. McGrath, H. R. Sharma

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    We report a study of the atomic structure of the threefold icosahedral (i-)AgInYb quasicrystal surface using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and low energy electron diffraction (LEED). The LEED confirms that the surface exhibits quasicrystalline long-range order with the threefold symmetry expected from the bulk. The STM reveals large atomically flat terraces separated by steps of different heights. A comparison of atomically resolved STM images for the terraces and the step-height distribution with the bulk structure of isostructural i-CdYb shows that the terraces are formed at bulk planes intersecting the centers of the rhombic triacontahedral clusters that make up the bulk structure of the system. However, the stability of particular terraces may be influenced by the density of atoms in the interstices (glue atoms that bind the clusters) in the terraces and also by the chemical environment in the underlying atomic plane. The surface exhibits screw dislocations, which is explained in terms of a continuous atomic density along the threefold axis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number445011
    JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
    Issue number44
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 7

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Science(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics


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