Noise-assisted mound coarsening in epitaxial growth

Lei Han TANG*, P. Šmilauer, D. D. Vvedensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Two types of mechanisms are proposed for mound coarsening during unstable epitaxial growth: stochastic, due to deposition noise, and deterministic, due to mass currents driven by surface energy differences. Both yield the relation H = (RW L)2 between the typical mound height W, mound size L, and the film thickness H. An analysis of simulations and experimental data shows that the parameter R saturates to a value which discriminates sharply between stochastic (R ≃ 1) and deterministic (R ≪ 1) coarsening. We derive a scaling relation between the coarsening exponent 1/z and the mound-height exponent β which, for a saturated mound slope, yields β = 1/z = 1/4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-412
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Physical Journal B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

User-Defined Keywords

  • 05.70.Ln nonequilibrium thermodynamics, irreversible processes
  • 68.55.-a Thin film structure morphology
  • 81.10.Aj Theory and models of crystal growth; physics of crystal growth, crytal morphology and orientation


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