Rate equations for the growth of Cu islands on Cu(001)

Ofer Biham*, G. T. Barkema, M. Breeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The kinetics of island nucleation and growth during deposition of Cu atoms on Cu(001) is studied using rate equations. The parameters in these equations are obtained using microscopic calculations of the energy landscape on the surface, previously used in Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. This allows a quantitative comparison between the rate equations and the MC results. Our rate equations take into account atoms that fall on the bare substrate as well as on top of existing islands, the mobility of single atoms and small islands, the coalescence of adjacent islands and the possible separation of atoms from island edges. The rate equations are used to explore the island size distribution and island density as a function of the coverage and deposition rates. These rate equations provide a useful and flexible tool that allows to easily modify particular microscopic properties of the system such as the mobility of small islands or the rate of coalescence and examine their effect while leaving all other features intact.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NSF for support under grant DMR-9217284. G.T.B. would like to acknowledge support by NSF grants ASC-9310244 and DMR-9121654 through the Materials Science Center and the Cornell National Supercomputing Facility and M.B. thanks the NWO for support under the STW program. This research was conducted using the resources of the Cornell Theory Center which receives major funding from the NSF and NYS and additional funding from DARPA, NIH, IBM and other members of the center's Corporate Research Institute.


  • Copper
  • Growth
  • Low index single crystal surfaces
  • Models of non-equilibrium phenomena
  • Models of surface kinetics
  • Single crystal epitaxy


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