The diffusion of a Ga atom on GaAs(001) β 2(2 × 4): Local superbasin kinetic Monte Carlo

Yangzheng Lin, Kristen A. Fichthorn

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3 Scopus citations


We use first-principles density-functional theory to characterize the binding sites and diffusion mechanisms for a Ga adatom on the GaAs(001)β2(2 × 4) surface. Diffusion in this system is a complex process involving eleven unique binding sites and sixteen different hops between neighboring binding sites. Among the binding sites, we can identify four different superbasins such that the motion between binding sites within a superbasin is much faster than hops exiting the superbasin. To describe diffusion, we use a recently developed local superbasin kinetic Monte Carlo (LSKMC) method, which accelerates a conventional kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulation by describing the superbasins as absorbing Markov chains. We find that LSKMC is up to 4300 times faster than KMC for the conditions probed in this study. We characterize the distribution of exit times from the superbasins and find that these are sometimes, but not always, exponential and we characterize the conditions under which the superbasin exit-time distribution should be exponential. We demonstrate that LSKMC simulations assuming an exponential superbasin exit-time distribution yield the same diffusion coefficients as conventional KMC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152711
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 21 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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