Sintering of two-dimensional nanoclusters in metal(100) homoepitaxial systems: Deviations from predictions of Mullins continuum theory

Thumbnail Image
Liu, Da-Jiang
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Evans, James
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
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.

Organizational Unit
Welcome to the exciting world of mathematics at Iowa State University. From cracking codes to modeling the spread of diseases, our program offers something for everyone. With a wide range of courses and research opportunities, you will have the chance to delve deep into the world of mathematics and discover your own unique talents and interests. Whether you dream of working for a top tech company, teaching at a prestigious university, or pursuing cutting-edge research, join us and discover the limitless potential of mathematics at Iowa State University!
Journal Issue
Is Version Of

We present a comparison of the predictions of atomistic and continuum models for the sintering of pairs of near-square two-dimensional nanoclusters adsorbed on the (100) surface in fcc metal homoepitaxial systems. Mass transport underlying these processes is dominated by periphery diffusion (PD) of adatoms along the edge of the clusters. A Mullins-type continuum model for cluster evolution incorporates anisotropy in the step edge stiffness (reflecting the energetics and adsorption site lattice structure in the atomistic model), and can also account for anisotropy in the step edge mobility (reflecting details of the kinetics). In such continuum treatments, the characteristic time τeqfor relaxation of clusters with linear size of order L satisfies τeq∼L4. Deviations may generally be expected for small sizes L or low temperatures T. However, for the relaxation of dumbbell-shaped clusters (formed by corner-to-corner coalescence of square clusters), atomistic simulations for PD with no kink rounding barrier (δ=0) reveal that τeq∼L4 always applies. In contrast, atomistic simulations with a large kink rounding barrier (δ>0) reveal distinct scaling with τeq∼L3, for low T or small L, thus providing an effective way to test for δ>0. For the relaxation of faceted rectangular clusters (formed by side-to-side coalescence of square clusters), atomistic simulations for PD with δ=0 reveal that τeq∼L2, for low T or small L. This is consistent with a recent proposal by Combe and Larralde. For large δ>0, τeq has an even weaker dependence on L. We elucidate scaling behavior and the effective activation barrier for relaxation in terms of the individual atomistic PD processes and their barriers.


This article is from Physical Review B 66 (2002): 165407, doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.66.165407. Posted with permission.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2002