Equilibrium step dynamics on vicinal surfaces

A. Pimpinelli, J. Villain, D. E. Wolf, J. J. Métois, J. C. Heyraud, I. Elkinani, G. Uimin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


The time τ necessary for the formation of bumps due to thermal fluctuations on steps of vicinal surfaces is evaluated in various relevant cases. Formulae already derived by Mullins and Bales and Zangwill and other expressions recently published by Bartelt et al., are found as special cases. For Si(111) at 900°C we predict that τ is proportional to the step-step separation l and to the square of the fluctuation wavelength L. This prediction is found to be in reasonable agreement with direct experimental observations of equilibrium step fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 20 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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