J. Phys. I France
Volume 7, Numéro 6, June 1997
Page(s) 797 - 806
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1997193
J. Phys. I France 7 (1997) 797-806

Different Regimes in the Ehrlich-Schwoebel Instability

Paolo Politi

CEA-Grenoble, Département de Recherche Fondamentale sur la Matière Condensée, SPMM/MP, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France Centre de Recherche sur les Très Basses Températures, CNRS, BP 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

(Received 20 December 1996, accepted 20 February 1997)

A one-dimensional high-symmetry growing surface in presence of step-edge barriers is studied numerically and analytically, through a discrete/continuous model which neglects thermal detachment from steps. The morphology of the film at different times and/or different sizes of the sample is analyzed in the overall range of possible step-edge barriers: for a small barrier, we have a strong up-down asymmetry of the interface, and a coarsening process - with an increasing size of mounds - takes place; at high barriers no coarsening exists, and for infinite barriers the up-down symmetry is asymptotically recovered. The transition between the two regimes occurs when the so-called Schwoebel length is of order of the diffusion length.

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