Anomalous coarsening process of voids, steps, and denuded zones on a [Formula Presented] surface

Y. Manassen, N. Ramesh Rao, I. Mukhopadhyay, E. Ter-Ovanesyan, Z. Olami

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Annealing a silicon surface covered with a submonolayer of [Formula Presented] at 600 °C gives a surface with voids that undergo a ripening process. If the uncovered surface has steps, the deposition of the growing and diffusing voids at this high temperature on the step creates a coarsening of the step. The coalescence of the voids with the step creates a denuded zone (in which the density of voids is below the average) both at the upper and the lower terraces. It is shown here that both the exact morphology and the scaling of the step width on one hand, and the density of voids near the step on the other hand, can be analyzed quantitatively. The scaling relations of the step width, the dynamic scaling of the voids, the denuded zones, and the scaling of the diffusion constant with size are shown to be interconnected. Using all these relations, it is possible to get a complete picture of all the characteristics of this anomalous diffusive coarsening phenomenon. So we prove that the void coarsening process is dominated by void diffusion and coalescence and that void diffusion is dominated by boundary vacancy diffusion. Thus the diffusive models of coarsening (described in the mean field by Lifshitz-Slyozov [I. M. Lifshitz and V. V. Slyozov, J. Phys. Chem. Solids 19, 35 (1961); C. Wagner, Z. Elektrochem. 65, 581 (1961)]) are nonrelevant in this case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2664-2671
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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