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As a corrugation which is roughness called a surface at the molecular or even atomic level. It plays a major role in interface processes , for example in nanotechnology when applying ultra-thin layers and in analytical methods such as scanning tunneling microscopy . In the technical sense it is a form deviation of a higher order.

When speaking of corrugation, what is usually not meant is an abstract, arbitrary, completely random roughness, but rather the strength of the expression of specific, recurring structural features that arise from the structure of the material components - crystals (unit cells ), molecules , or atoms - of the surface or interface result.

Corrugation has a great influence on many physical and chemical processes and effects observed at interfaces, for example spin coupling .


  • M. Henzler, W. Göpel, Surface physics of the solid , BG Teubner, Stuttgart (1994)
  • K. Oura, VG Lifshits, AA Saranin, AV Zotov, M. Katayama, Surface Science: An Introduction , Springer, Berlin, 2003