Apparent activation energy during surface evolution by step formation and flow
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- Nagoya University
During growth and etching by step flow as examples of anisotropic surface processing the apparent activation energy of the growth/etch rate depends on orientation, increasing gradually as a principal, terrace-rich surface is approached. This behaviour is traditionally explained as a change in the dominating process from step propagation to island/pit nucleation. We show that the orientation dependence of the activation energy is actually the result of a traditionally disregarded temperature dependence in the number of active step sites and is not attributable to an increasing role of step nucleation nor to a purely geometrical decrease in the number of step sites. This modifies the traditional picture of the apparent energy for a principal surface and explains how the energy can be higher than, equal to or even lower than that for vicinal orientations.
|Journal||New Journal of Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Nov 2006|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|