Atomic transport at liquid metal/Al2O3 interfaces
In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to identify the controlling transport mechanisms at metal/oxide interfaces and measure the corresponding diffusivities. Interfacial transport rates in our experiments are two to four orders of magnitude faster than any previously reported rates for the oxide surface. The interfacial diffusivities and the degree of interfacial anisotropy depend on the oxygen activity of the system. Atomic transport at metal/oxide interfaces plays a defining role in many technological processes, and these experiments provide fundamental data for the formulation of the atomic theory needed to explain many of the observed phenomena.