In our newest publication in Surface Science, we present controlled growth of c(2 × 2)N islands on the (100) surface of Cu3Au, which can be used as an insulating surface template for manipulation of magnetic adatoms. Compared to the commonly used Cu(100)/c(2 × 2)N surface, where island sizes do not exceed several nanometers due to strain limitation, the current system provides better lattice matching between metal and adsorption layer, allowing larger unstrained islands to be formed. We show that we can achieve island sizes ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers, increasing the potential building area by a factor 100. Initial manipulation attempts show no observable difference in adatom behaviour, either in manipulation or spectroscopy.
STM topography of a single nitride island on Cu3Au with a diameter of 40 nm. On the island, two manipulated structures composed of Fe atoms are visible.