Island, pit, and groove formation in strained heteroepitaxy

M. T. Lung, Chi Hang Lam, Leonard M. Sander

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number086102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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