Modeling of Metal(100) Homepitaxial Film Growth at Very Low Temperatures

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2000-01-01
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Caspersen, K.
Stoldt, C.
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Evans, James
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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We model the growth of Ag films deposited on Ag(100) below 140K. Our recent Variable-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (VTSTM) studies reveal “smooth growth” from 120-140K, consistent with earlier diffraction studies. However, we also find rougher growth for lower temperatures. This unexpected behavior is modeled by describing the deposition dynamics using a “restricted downward funneling” model, wherein deposited atoms get caught on the sides of steep nanoprotrusions (which are prevalent below 120K), rather than always funneling down to lower four-fold hollow adsorption sites. At OK, where no thermal diffusion processes are operative, this leads to the formation of overhangs and internal defects (or voids). Above 40K, low barrier interlayer diffusion processes become operative, producing the observed smooth growth by 120K. We also discuss how the apparent film morphology mapped out by the STM tip “smears” features of the actual film morphology (which are small at low temperature), and also can lead to underestimation of the roughness.

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This article is from Recent Developments in Oxide and metal Epitaxy: Proceedings of the MRS 2000 Spring Meeting 619 (2000): pp. 49—54, doi:10.1557/PROC-619-49

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2000