Theory of the growth mode for a thin metallic film on an insulating substrate

David Fuks, Simon Dorfman, Yuri F. Zhukovskii, Eugene A. Kotomin, A. Marshall Stoneham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We have developed a novel theory predicting the growth mode of a thin metallic film on an insulating substrate. This combines ab initio electronic structure calculations for several ordered metal/insulator interfaces (varying both coverage and substrate lattice constant), with a thermodynamic approach based on microscopic calculations. We illustrate this approach for Ag film deposited on MgO(0 0 1) substrate. Ab initio calculations predict high mobility of adsorbed silver atoms on the perfect magnesia surface even at low temperatures. Our theoretical analysis clearly demonstrates that the growth of metallic islands is predominant at the initial stage of silver deposition, which agrees with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2002


  • Ab initio quantum chemical methods and calculations
  • Coatings
  • Equilibrium thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
  • Growth
  • Magnesium oxides
  • Silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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