Second Layer Nucleation in Thin Film Growth

TitleSecond Layer Nucleation in Thin Film Growth
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsRottler, Jörg, and Philipp Maass
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Date Publishedoct
AbstractWe study the second layer nucleation on top of islands emerging during epitaxial growth of thin films. By employing kinetic Monte Carlo simulations we determine the critical island radius Rc upon which small stable nuclei form in the second layer. We find that the dependence of Rc on the additional step edge barrier {ΔEs} {(Schwoebel} barrier) is not in accordance with existing theories. Scaling arguments are presented which explain how Rc depends on {ΔEs} as well as on adatom diffusion rates and on the incoming atom flux. Based on the theory, the occurrence of smooth layer-by-layer growth as opposed to rough multilayer growth is discussed.
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