Europhys. Lett, 38 (9), pp. 675-680 (1997)
Cleavage and brittle fracture in GaAs: Indication of lattice dynamic instability on the nanometer scale
M. A. Rosentreter, M. Wenderoth, N. H. Theuerkauf, A. J. Heinrich, M. A. Schneider and R. G. Ulbrich
IV. Physikalisches Institut, Universität Göttingen, Bunsenstraße 13, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
(received 21 March 1997; accepted in final form 20 May 1997)
PACS. 68.35Bs - Surface structure and topography.
PACS. 62.20Mk - Fatigue, brittleness, fracture, and cracks.
PACS. 61.16Ch - Scanning probe microscopy: scanning tunneling, atomic force, scanning optical, magnetic force, etc.
Abstract:Atomic configurations of cleaved GaAs (110) surfaces are analysed to check existing models of cleavage and step formation in solids. Morphologies of were investigated in UHV at 300 K with a Scanning Tunneling Microscope and compared to Monte Carlo simulations. The analysis supports the view that the processes involved in fracture are far from thermal equilibrium. Two characteristic length scales are found in the morphologies. Mean terrace widths of 10 nm and large-scale fluctuations of 100 nm both point to non-linear lattice dynamic instabilities which occur during crack propagation.
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