We consider a simple model for the growth of isolated steps on a vicinal crystal surface. It incorporates diffusion and drift of adatoms on the terrace, and strong step and kink edge barriers. Using a combination of analytic methods and Monte Carlo simulations, we study the morphology of growing steps in detail. In particular, under typical molecular beam epitaxy conditions the step morphology is linearly unstable in the model and develops fingers separated by deep cracks. The vertical roughness of the step grows linearly in time, while horizontally the fingers coarsen proportional to t0.33. We develop scaling arguments to study the saturation of the ledge morphology for a finite width and length of the terrace.
|Journal||Physical Review E|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|