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Dr. Marc McEllistrem

Marc McEllistrem

Academic Program Director


Post-doc - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Post-doc - University of Texas, Austin
Ph.D.- University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.S.- University of Kentucky, Lexington

Research Interests

Chemistry occurring on solid (often crystalline) surfaces.

Surface reactions monitored on the 'macro' scaleReactions followed on the atomic scale.

As an example, the chemistry of hydrogen on silicon surfaces has been studied in some detail, using a variety of techniques.

It is possible to image the motion (diffusion) of hydrogen on silicon at the atomic scale using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), which can take an image in about 18 seconds, operated at an elevated temperature.

Shown here is a brief movie made from individual frames taken with an STM. It shows a silicon surface mostly covered with hydrogen atoms and heated to 300 C. The bright moving features actually are places where the hydrogen is absent. Pairs of vacancies are stable, but unpaired vacancies can diffuse. Note the pair of vacancies (at center top) that start paired, then unpair and later pair again. Other lone vacancies simply wander during the course of the movie.