The reconstruction of atomically close-packed crystalline surfaces could correspond to complex domain structures with different types of stacking regions. The surface deformation was described here as arising from a trigonal network of sub-surface misfit dislocations partly dissociated in Shockley dislocations limiting intrinsic and/or extrinsic stacking faults. An elemental theory using isotropic elasticity was proposed to evaluate the changes of the surface topography for different extensions of the domain structures and heights of the top-most layers. Taking the example of the annealed (111)Ni75Pt25 single crystal, as observed by scanning tunnelling microscopy, computer-generated images depicted correlations between the positions of the calculated ditches and the sub-surface misfit dislocation segments. The theory also had the advantage of applying fully to hetero-epitaxial systems that relaxed by the formation of misfit dislocations.

Evaluation of Surface Strain Due to the Reconstruction of Atomically Close-Packed Crystalline Surfaces. R.Bonnet: Physical Review B, 2000, 61, 14059-65