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Low-Energy Electron Diffraction

Electron Techniques

  1. Katariina Pussi1,
  2. Renee D. Diehl2

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com085.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Pussi, K. and Diehl, R. D. 2012. Low-Energy Electron Diffraction. Characterization of Materials. 1–15.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Lappeenranta, Finland

  2. 2

    Penn State University, Department of Physics, University Park, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


Low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) is a common and powerful method for determining the geometric structure of solid surfaces. It has the advantage of being fast and inexpensive relative to many other surface techniques. LEED can provide quick information on the surface unit cell size and geometry of single crystal surfaces, and with more effort can be used to determine the complete surface geometry, i.e. composition, bond lengths and angles. Although LEED has been used primarily as a structural technique, it can be used to determine other surface properties such as atomic and molecular vibration and libration amplitudes and energies. LEED has dominated the study of surface geometries for relatively simple structures, and is expected to become increasingly important in the study of nanostructures, molecular adsorbates, and insulating surfaces.


  • low-energy electron diffraction;
  • LEED;
  • surface structure;
  • single crystal