Indexed on: 15 Oct '08Published on: 15 Oct '08Published in: Physical review letters
Low-density Co atoms are found to self-align on the Si(111)-(4 x 1)-In surface in the direction of In atomic wires at incommensurate adsorption sites. Indirect interaction between a pair of Co adatoms is investigated through a site distribution function of adatoms determined with scanning tunneling microscopy. In the direction of self-alignment, the potential of the mean force between two Co adatoms is long-range and oscillatory with multiple frequencies, which correlate strongly to the electronic scattering vectors of the surface-state bands at the Fermi level. We thus attribute the Co-Co interaction to that mediated by a quasi-one-dimensional electron gas confined within the In atomic wires.