Publication #157

Nucleation calculations in a pair-binding model

J. A. Venables, Physical Review B36 (1987) 4153-4162.


Calculations of the nucleation and growth of thin films are presented. These atomistic calculations depend on adsorption (Ea), diffusion (Ed), and lateral binding (Eb) energies. A simplified pair binding model of small two-dimensional clusters is used to make the calculations explicit for layer-plus-island (or Stranski-Krastanov) growth systems. Within such a model it is found that at least a crude (Einstein) representation of surface vibrations is needed to make reasonable predictions at low supersaturation. The calculations are applied to extract parameter values from nucleation and growth experiments on Ag/W(110), Ag/Mo(100), Ag/Si(111) and Ag/Si(100), and for rare gases onto various (plated) substrates. Comments are made about the parameters obtained for such systems, and about the role of surface crystallography and defects.

Note: the formulae given on pages 4154-4156 spell this model out, including the role of vibrations, and the way in which the cricical nucleus size is determined as an output of, and not an input to the calculation. Although the application in this paper is to SK growth on an intermediate layer, the same formulae can be used for 2D submonolayer growth on the original substrate. Closely related formulae work for 3D island growth, in line with formulae given previously in our 1984 Rep. Prog. Phys. article.

Latest version of this document: 11 April 2000.