Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 37, Number 1, January 2007
|Page(s)||33 - 37|
|Section||Surfaces, Interfaces and Films|
|Published online||22 November 2006|
Equilibrium shapes of coherent islands in heteroepitaxial systems
College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Zhejiang University
of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, West Branch of Zhejiang University of Technology, Quzhou 324000, China
3 College of Science, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310032, China
4 Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 September 2006
Published online: 22 November 2006
An analytical expression of the free energy consisting of the strain energy, surface energy and interfacial energy for the coherent island/substrate system, as well as the evolving relations of aspect ratio against volume of the island and misfit of the system, which provides a broad perspective on island behavior, is obtained, and used to study the equilibrium shapes of the systems. Under certain growth conditions in systems with a film/substrate lattice misfit, deposed material is known to aggregate into islandlike shapes with geometries having triangular shaped cross-sections. A two-dimensional model assuming liner elastic behavior is used to analyze an isolated triangular shaped island with elastic properties similar to those of the substrate assumed to be semi-infinite. The results show that in order to minimize the total free energy, a coherent island will adopt a particular height-to-width aspect ratio that is a function of only the island volume. The effect of a misfit dislocation on the equilibrium shape of an island is in passing examined. These can serve as a basis for interpretation of experiments.
PACS: 68.55.Jk – Structure and morphology; thickness; crystalline orientation and texture / 62.25.+g – Mechanical properties of nanoscale materials / 68.35.-p – Solid surfaces and solid-solid interfaces: Structure and energetics / 68.65.Hb – Quantum dots
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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