The atomic structure of the room temperature (2 × 1) reconstruction of Ge(001) has been investigated with X-ray diffraction measurements by collecting an extensive and accurate set of diffracted intensities. The structural model that best agrees with the data consists of a buckled array of disordered dimers: there is a 0.5 probability of finding one of the two dimer orientations (positive and negative tilt angles) in any unit cell. The dimer tilt angle is found to be 15.6±0.6°, its bond length is expanded by 4% compared to the bulk bond length, the reconstruction is found to extend to eight atomic layers and the maximum distortion of the bonds has been found to be less than 6%. The model is compared with similar models, and the dynamical and ordered models and the dynamics of the dimer flipping are discussed.
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