A new photoeffect has been detected, consisting of stimulated transport of the atoms adsorbed on the surface of solids. The effect is produced by transforming the electronic excitation of the adatoms into their motion over the substrate. It is established that, when the surface is nonuniformly illuminated, the adatoms are removed from the illuminated region. The coefficients of dark and photostimulated diffusion are determined by analyzing the escape kinetics of the adatoms from the illumination region and the restoration of equilibrium after the irradiation is switched off. The energy height of the diffusion-activation barrier and the length of the photostimulated hops of the adatoms are estimated. © 2004 Optical Society of America

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