Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 6, September 2005
Page(s) 1001 - 1007
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 10 August 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (6), pp. 1001-1007 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10169-0

Theory of spatial and size scaling in strain-free island ripening

P. A. Mulheran

Department of Physics, University of Reading - Whiteknights PO Box 220, Reading RG6 6AF, UK

received 13 April 2005; accepted in final form 12 July 2005
published online 10 August 2005

A new theory for the ripening of two-dimensional strain-free islands limited by interfacial kinetics is presented. This theory supersedes the mean-field approach by including the environmental contribution to the islands' growth law. Consequently, it accounts not only for the development of the island size distribution; it also explains the concomitant spatial ordering of the islands. The scale invariance of these properties, as observed experimentally and in Monte Carlo simulations, evolves naturally from the theory. Good agreement between the theory and simulation is found. The work is significant for nanostructure production where island spatial and size distributions are key ingredients.

81.15.Aa - Theory and models of film growth.
81.10.Aj - Theory and models of crystal growth; physics of crystal growth, crystal morphology and orientation.
68.55.Ac - Nucleation and growth: microscopic aspects.

© EDP Sciences 2005