Structure investigation of the (100) surface of the orthorhombic Al13Co4 crystal
Physical Review B 80(1): 014203
We present a detailed study of the (100) surface of the orthorhombic Al13Co4 crystal using both experimental and ab initio computational methods. This complex metallic alloy is an approximant of the decagonal Al-Ni-Co quasicrystalline phase. After sputter-annealing preparation of the surface at 1073 K, the low-energy electron diffraction pattern recorded exhibits a pseudotenfold symmetry with lattice parameters consistent with those of the bulk model. At this stage, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) measurements reveal two different types of surface terminations. A comparison between these two surface structures and the bulk planes indicate that the terminations correspond either to an incomplete puckered layer (P) or to an incomplete flat layer (F). At 1173 K, the majority of the surface consists of P layer terminations. STM images calculated from our proposed surface model are in good agreement with experimental images. X-ray photoelectron diffraction patterns and single scattering cluster calculations further confirm that the local atomic arrangements present in the bulk model are preserved within the near-surface region.