Nucleation kinetics on inhomogeneous substrates: Al/Au(111)

Fischer Bjørn, Brune Harald, Johannes V. Barth, Fricke Alexander, Kern Klaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We report a quantitative atomic scale study of nucleation kinetics on an inhomogeneous substrate. Our model system, Al/Au\(111\)-\(3×22\), reveals a distinct nucleation transition due to the repulsive nature of surface dislocations. Whereas for T<200 K Al adatoms are confined to quasipseudomorphic stacking areas experiencing a very small diffusion barrier \(30+/-5 meV\), at T>200 K surface dislocations, representing repulsive barriers of ΔE˜560 meV, can be surmounted. The results illustrate the significance of surface dislocations as repulsive line defects in nucleation and growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1732-1735
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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