Stacking faults in ultra-thin films of silver on Al(111) investigated by medium energy ion scattering

Medium energy ion scattering has been used to investigate depositions of 0.2, 1.4, 3.5 and 4.8 ML of silver onto Al(111). Energy profiles indicate alloying to the extent that aluminium is still visible after the deposition of 4.8 ML. From assessments of the visibility, blocking dips and fits using VEGAS simulations it is shown that the first two layers continue the fcc stacking but after that hcp and fcc twin-type stacking faults occur. The 1.4 ML structure is consistent with a mixed structure of 85% fcc and 15% hcp indicating that some silver occupies a third layer. The blocking curve from the structure formed by 3.5 ML equivalent deposition can be simulated by 56% fcc, 32% hcp and 12% fcc twin and that from 4.8 ML by 59% fcc, 23% hcp and 18% fcc twin. This provides direct evidence of the incidence of hcp stacking when silver is deposited onto Al(111) in the range between 2 and 5 ML.