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Title: Refined BCF-type boundary conditions for mesoscale surface step dynamics

Deposition on a vicinal surface with alternating rough and smooth steps is described by a solid-on-solid model with anisotropic interactions. Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations of the model reveal step pairing in the absence of any additional step attachment barriers. We explore the description of this behavior within an analytic Burton-Cabrera-Frank (BCF)-type step dynamics treatment. Without attachment barriers, conventional kinetic coefficients for the rough and smooth steps are identical, as are the predicted step velocities for a vicinal surface with equal terrace widths. However, we determine refined kinetic coefficients from a two-dimensional discrete deposition-diffusion equation formalism which accounts for step structure. These coefficients are generally higher for rough steps than for smooth steps, reflecting a higher propensity for capture of diffusing terrace adatoms due to a higher kink density. Such refined coefficients also depend on the local environment of the step and can even become negative (corresponding to net detachment despite an excess adatom density) for a smooth step in close proximity to a rough step. Incorporation of these refined kinetic coefficients into a BCF-type step dynamics treatment recovers quantitatively the mesoscale step-pairing behavior observed in the KMC simulations.
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  1. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121; PRBMDO
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 91; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States