Volume 88, Number 2, October 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||09 November 2009|
Narrowing of terrace-width distributions during growth on vicinal surfaces
Department of Physics, University of Maryland - College Park, MD 20742-4111 USA
2 LASMEA, UMR 6602 CNRS/Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont 2, F-63177 Aubière cedex, France, EU
3 Physics Department, Sciences Faculty of University of Monastir - 5019 Monastir, Tunisia
Accepted: 7 October 2009
We present analytic and numerical results for the steady-state, non-equilibrium terrace-width distribution (TWD) of steps during growth on vicinal surfaces. Kinetic Monte Carlo shows that the TWD narrows progressively with increasing flux until the model breaks down. The narrowing corresponds to kinetic repulsion between moving steps, due to the intrinsic asymmetry of the adatom diffusion current on a growing surface. With a 1-dimensional (1D) model, from a Burton-Cabrera-Frank approach, we make contact with previous work, in which the attachment asymmetry can also be due to electromigration or to asymmetry in attachment rates; we deduce an expression for the narrowing via a Fokker-Planck analysis. We illustrate how Ehrlich-Schwoebel barriers (although inducing an instability in 2D) also lead to such asymmetry and narrowing.
PACS: 68.35.-p – Solid surfaces and solid-solid interfaces: structure and energetics / 81.15.Aa – Theory and models of film growth / 05.10.Gg – Stochastic analysis methods (Fokker-Planck, Langevin, etc.)
© EPLA, 2009
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