surface relaxation (rus. поверхностная релаксация) — modification (alteration) of the near-surface layer of the crystal, where the atomic structure of the upper layer remains the same as that of the corresponding atomic planes in the bulk, but the distance between the first and second layer, or their relative positions differ from those in the bulk.

Description

Relaxation is divided into normal and lateral, which may also be called parallel or tangential. In the case of normal relaxation the atomic structure of the upper layer is the same as in the bulk, but the distance between the top and second layers differs from the distance between the planes in the bulk (Fig. a). Pure normal relaxation is observed in metals. In most cases, it is the interlayer distance that is reduced first. For deeper layers, the deviation from the bulk interlayer distance decreases with depth, often in an oscillatory pattern. There may also be a uniform displacement of the upper layer parallel to the surface (Fig. b), which is called parallel or tangential relaxation. This occurs mostly on high index planes with low atom concentration.

Illustrations

Schematic representation of normal (a) and lateral (b) relaxation of the upper atomic layer of
Schematic representation of normal (a) and lateral (b) relaxation of the upper atomic layer of a semi-infinite crystal [1].

Authors

  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.

Source

  1. Oura K. et al. Surface Science: An Introduction // Springer, 2010 - 452 pp.

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