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The Roughening Transition of Vicinal Surfaces

  • J. Lapujoulade
  • B. Salanon
  • F. Fabre
  • B. Loisel
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 239)

Abstract

On a vicinal surface the steps are expected to become rougher and rougher as the temperature is increased. Using a TSK (Terrace, Step, Kink) model it is shown that a transition of the Kosterlitz-Thouless type occurs. Then above T = TR the correlation function of step positions diverges logarithmically with distance. This behavior is experimentally studied by TEAS (Thermal Energy Atom Scattering). A comparison between the experimental peak profiles and exact Monte Carlo calculations on TSK models allows to evaluate important physical quantities such as the kink energy formation and the step-step interaction energy.

Various vicinal surfaces of copper have been studied:

Cu(113),Cu(115),Cu(1,1,11),Cu(331),Cu(310) in order to check the influence of step-step distance, step structure, terrace structure. The following trends are observed:
  • At the same temperature the roughness increases with the distance between steps as a result of the weakening of the step-step interaction.

  • Changing the terrace structure from (100) to (111) does not significantly affect the roughness. — Steps parallel to the loosely packed direction [100] are very much rougher than those parallel to the close-packed direction [110].

  • Freezing of the roughness due to low surface mobility always occurs below room temperature.

  • The large terrace surface Cu(1,1,11) deviates from the prediction of the Kosterlitz-Thouless model. A tentative explanation is given.

Keywords

Correlation Function Equilibrium Shape Elementary Excitation Step Displacement Vicinal Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Lapujoulade
    • 1
  • B. Salanon
    • 1
  • F. Fabre
    • 1
  • B. Loisel
    • 2
  1. 1.Service de Physique des Atomes et des SurfacesC.E.N. SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  2. 2.Section de Recherches en Metallurgie PhysiqueC.E.N. SaclayGif-sur-YvetteFrance

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