Mass transport of adsorbates near a discontinuous structural phase transition

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Research units

  • Brown University
  • Oakland University


We study the mass transport dynamics of an adsorbed layer near a discontinuous incommensurate striped-honeycomb phase transition via numerical simulations of a coarse-grained model focusing on the motion of domain walls rather than individual atoms. Following an initial step profile created in the incommensurate striped phase, an intermediate hexagonal incommensurate phase nucleates and grows, leading to a bifurcation into two sharp profiles propagating in opposite directions as opposed to broad profiles induced by atomic diffusive motion. Our results are in agreement with recent numerical simulations of a microscopic model as well as experimental observations for the Pb/Si(111) adsorbate system.


Original languageEnglish
Article number235412
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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