Effects of impurities on surface morphology: Some examples

Ajmi Bh Hamouda, T. J. Stasevich, Alberto Pimpinelli, T. L. Einstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Small amounts of impurities are known to have remarkably great influence on surface morphology. We discuss three examples that arise in our research. First, we consider impurities codeposited during epitaxial growth, paying particular attention to Cu(100). After many layers of growth, the impurities can dramatically alter the surface morphology, changing the wavelength of the meandering instability and producing small square-base pyramids. Second, we consider the decoration of both island and vacancy island edges on Ag(111) with C60. We use this system as a prototype to model how edge decoration with impurities can have a striking effect on the shape of the island as well as the dynamics of edge fluctuations. Finally, we show that about one per cent of pentacene quinone impurities alters the size of the critical nucleus in submonolayer pentacene deposition. This provides a platform on which to discuss our recent work characterizing the capture-zone distribution associated with the islands in terms of the generalized Wigner distribution, a simple one-parameter expression in which the characteristic exponent is the size of the smallest stable island.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084215
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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