Electron beam irradiation-induced deoxidation and atomic flattening on the copper surface

Ting Yi Lin, Shih Kuang Lee, Guan Min Huang, Chun Wei Huang, Kuo Lun Tai, Chih Yang Huang, Yu Chieh Lo, Wen Wei Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Electron beam (e-beam) has been developed for nanomaterial observation and moreover to induce structural evolutions in atomic scale. In this work, we demonstrate the deoxidation of cuprous oxide (Cu2O) and the formation of an atomically flat surface on a Cu nanowire by e-beam irradiation. To develop e-beam irradiation applications, the relation between e-beam radiation and the atomic surface is significant. Through the density functional theory simulation of atomic sputtering, an obvious disparity in the sputtering threshold has been found under different structural conditions, which leads to different structural evolutions. Both surface deoxidation and atomic surface flattening reactions have been identified as self-limiting and irreversible processes via in situ transmission electron microscope observation. Under e-beam irradiation, the dynamic mechanism of atomic surface flattening is driven by the convergence of total surface energy and confirmed by climbing-image nudged elastic band (ci-NEB) calculations. With precise control, e-beam irradiation reveals enormous potentials in atomic surface engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40909-40915
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number43
StatePublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • atomic surface engineering
  • atomically flat surface
  • deoxidation
  • e-beam irradiation
  • in situ TEM

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