- Journal Article
The quasistatic approximation is a useful but questionable simplification for analyzing step instabilities during the growth/evaporation of vicinal surfaces. Using this approximation, we characterized in Part I of this work the effect on stability of different mechanisms and their interplay: elastic step-step interactions, the Schwoebel barrier, and the chemical coupling of the diffusion fields on adjacent terraces. In this second part, we present a stability analysis of the general problem without recourse to the quasistatic approximation. This analysis reveals the existence of a supplementary mechanism, which we label the “dynamics effect” as it follows from accounting for all the convective and transient terms in the governing equations. This effect can be stabilizing or destabilizing depending on the ratio of step attachment/detachment kinetics to terrace diffusion kinetics. Further, we find that this dynamics effect remains significant in the slow deposition/evaporation regime, thereby invalidating the classical postulate underlying the quasistatic approximation. Finally, revisiting experiments of crystal growth on Si(111)-7 × 7 and GaAs(001), our analysis provides an alternative explanation of the observed step bunching, one that does not require the mechanisms previously invoked in the literature. Show more
Journal / seriesJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Pages / Article No.
SubjectA. Crystal growth; A. Morphological instability; A. Step bunching; C. Stability and bifurcation; C. Quasistatic approximation
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