Grazing-incidence metal deposition: Pattern formation and slope selection

Sebastiaan van Dijken*, Louis C. Jorritsma, Bene Poelsema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular beam epitaxy of Cu on Cu(001) at grazing angles of incidence has been studied using spot profile analysis low-energy electron diffraction. At angles of incidence larger than 50° the evolving surface morphology no longer shows the fourfold symmetry inherent to Cu(001), leaving only the plane of incidence as a mirror plane. The surface roughness as well as the slope of the grown mound structures increase with increasing deposition angle. These findings are explained by steering, which originates from long-range attractive forces between incident atoms and substrate atoms and leads to preferential arrival of atoms on top of islands. Steering is of general importance and should routinely be considered in growth studies when the angle of incidence of the depositing beam is larger than 50°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14047-14058
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics)
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2000
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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