Size-Dependent Interface Properties

The electronic properties of metal-ceramic interfaces are found to vary with the size of the interface in the range of 3-100 nm. Interface properties can be extracted from variations in apparent heights of metal clusters, as measured by scanning tunneling microscopy, of small clusters on atomically smooth oxide surfaces. Relations that describe the size dependence in terms of parameters related to interfacial bonding are developed. The effect of the size dependent interface properties on metal cluster stability are explored by modeling the effect of the parameters that control contact potential and comparing the size dependence with that of the other contributions to the total energy.