Europhys. Lett.
Volume 65, Number 3, February 2004
Page(s) 379 - 385
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 January 2004
Europhys. Lett., 65 (3) , pp. 379-385 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-10098-x

The dynamics of island nucleation and growth -beyond mean-field theory

P. A. Mulheran

Department of Physics, University of Reading Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AF, UK

(Received 14 July 2003; accepted in final form 26 November 2003)

Fully deterministic calculations of the dynamics of island nucleation and growth during thin-film deposition are presented, using a capture zone model that transcends the classical mean-field approximation. Nucleation rates for various critical island sizes i=0, 1, 2 are accurately calculated from the time-dependent monomer density within the capture zones. The deterministic evolution of the Joint Probability Distribution (JPD) of island and capture zone size is then calculated. The JPDs are found to converge rapidly to approximately scale-invariant forms that are in excellent agreement with Monte Carlo simulation data.

68.55.Jk - Structure and morphology; thickness; crystalline orientation and texture.
81.15.Hi - Molecular, atomic, ion, and chemical beam epitaxy.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.

© EDP Sciences 2004