Energy-angle distributions of low-energy inert-gas ions scattered from surfaces provide information about surface composition and structure. We have measured energy spectra of He+ scattered from an Al71Pd20Mn9quasicrystal, which was oriented perpendicular to the 5-fold axis, along various azimuthal directions. Strong scattering signals are seen from Al and Pd, but only a weak Mn signal is observed. From measurements made of He+ at an oblique angle of incidence scattered in the forward direction, we observe a 72° periodicity in the azimuthal dependence of the scattering signal intensity from Al surface atoms. The effect arises from shadowing effects involving neighboring surface atoms and provides direct evidence that Al surface atoms exist in a local environment with 5-fold symmetry. In addition, measuring the variation of the signal intensity with incidence angle provides information about neighboring atom distances, which compare favorably with a model of the quasicrystal surface derived from the bulk structure.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/patricia_thiel/101/