Dynamics of rough Ge(001) surfaces at low temperatures

S. Jay Chey, Joseph E. Van Nostrand, David G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mass transport by surface diffusion on rough Ge(001) surfaces is characterized using in situ scanning tunneling microscopy. Rough starting surfaces with nearly constant step densities are prepared by low-energy ion etching at 270 °C; the characteristic in-plane length scale of the roughness is varied from 37 to 118 nm. These surfaces are subsequently annealed at 245-325 °C for times between 10 min and 6 h and imaged at room temperature. The activation energy for surface smoothing is 1.9 ± 0.25 eV. The dependence of the relaxation rate on the in-plane length scale is inconsistent with the continuum model of Mullins: the time constant τ of the smoothing process increases with increasing lateral length scale L as τ ∝ Ln, n = 2.2 ± 0.4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3995-3998
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 20 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamics of rough Ge(001) surfaces at low temperatures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this