Transition in the growth kinetics of vacancy islands on NbSe2

J. C. Arnault, J. L. Bubendorff, Alberto Pimpinelli, J. P. Bucher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The evolution of etch pits of NbSe2 in air has been followed by AFM and STM. By minimizing the tip-surface interaction, the intrinsic evolution of monolayer deep depressions has been followed thoroughly. The time variation tβ of the lateral dimension of the triangular, monolayer deep depressions undergoes a transition from an exponent of β = 0.4 ± 0.1 to β = 1 ± 0.1 several tens of minutes after sample cleavage. The depression formation process is adequately described by the Burton-Cabrera-Frank theory (BCF) for the diffusion of etching molecules, most probably water molecules that are responsible for the chemical attack at defects. The transition in the time dependence to smaller sizes (< 28 nm) reveals a finite diffusion length of the diffusing entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Diffusion and migration
  • Growth
  • Niobium diselenide
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Surface defects
  • Surface structure, morphology, roughness, and topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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