Curved crystals are multi-vicinal surfaces that enable the systematic study of step-dependent properties. A wide range of metals and semiconductors are available.
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In a curved surface the miscut angle — i.e. the nanoscopic step density — is made to vary in a selected range. A single curved surface therefore can be seen as containing many different vicinal surfaces. For instance, miscut angles in the range of 1 to 15º degrees result in terrace widths from around 100Å down to 10Å.
Curved crystals are therefore very useful for the study of properties that depend on terrace width (e.g. surface electron behavior), since they drastically reduce the time and resources required and provide a rational framework for exploring the surface science of these exotic surface orientations. For more information, see the attached PDF.