Anomalous fast dynamics of adsorbate overlayers near an incommensurate structural transition

E. Granato, S.C. Ying, Ken Elder, T. Ala-Nissilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the dynamics of a compressively strained adsorbed layer on a periodic substrate via a simple two-dimensional model that admits striped and hexagonal incommensurate phases. We show that the mass transport is superfast near the striped-hexagonal phase boundary and in the hexagonal phase. For an initial step profile separating a bare substrate region (or “hole”) from the rest of a striped incommensurate phase, the superfast domain wall dynamics leads to a bifurcation of the initial step profile into two interfaces or profiles propagating in opposite directions with a hexagonal phase in between. This yields a theoretical understanding of the recent experiments for the Pb/Si(111) system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126102
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • adsorbate layers
  • dynamics
  • heteroepitaxy
  • metal-semiconductor

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