Island nucleation in thin-film epitaxy: A first-principles investigation

Kristen A. Fichthorn, Matthias Scheffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


We describe a theoretical study of the role of adsorbate interactions in island nucleation and growth, using Ag/Pt(111) heteroepitaxy as an example. From density-functional theory, we obtain the substrate-mediated Ag adatom pair interaction and we find that, past the short range, a repulsive ring is formed about the adatoms. The magnitude of the repulsion is comparable to the diffusion barrier. In kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, we find that the repulsive interactions lead to island densities over an order of magnitude larger than those predicted by nucleation theory and thus identify a severe limitation of its applicability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5371-5374
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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