We describe the design and application of a low-energy electron microscope (LEEM) dedicated to the study of III–V materials. Recent studies of Langmuir (free) evaporation of GaAs(001) have been reviewed. Running Ga droplets are observed, and the motion is predicted and shown to slow and stop near a characteristic temperature. Striking bursts of “daughter” droplet nucleation accompany the coalescence of large “parent” droplets. These observations imply that evaporation and surface morphology are intimately connected, suggesting a new approach for the self-assembly and positioning of nanostructures on patterned surfaces.
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