We study the morphological evolution of strained heteroepitaxial films using a kinetic Monte Carlo method in three dimensions. The elastic part of the problem uses a Green's function method. Isolated islands are observed under deposition conditions for deposition rates slow compared with intrinsic surface roughening rates. They are hemispherical and truncated conical for high and low temperature cases, respectively. Annealing of films at high temperature leads to the formation of closely packed islands as in instability theory. At low temperature, pits form via a multistep layer-by-layer nucleation mechanism in contrast to the conventional single-step nucleation process. They subsequently develop into grooves, which are energetically more favorable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)