Loughborough University
Smith-R-Atomistic.pdf (1.82 MB)

Atomistic surface erosion and thin film growth modelled over realistic time scales

Download (1.82 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2012-02-10, 09:56 authored by Chris Scott, Sabrina Blackwell, Louis J. Vernon, Steven KennySteven Kenny, Michael WallsMichael Walls, Roger Smith
We present results of atomistic modelling of surface growth and sputtering using a multi-time scale molecular dynamics–on-the-fly kinetic Monte Carlo scheme which allows simulations to be carried out over realistic experimental times. The method uses molecular dynamics to model the fast processes and then calculates the diffusion barriers for the slow processes on-the-fly, without any preconceptions about what transitions might occur. The method is applied to the growth of metal and oxide materials at impact energies typical for both vapour deposition and magnetron sputtering. The method can be used to explain growth processes, such as the filling of vacancies and the formation of stacking faults. By tuning the variable experimental parameters on the computer, a parameter set for optimum crystalline growth can be determined. The method can also be used to model sputtering where the particle interactions with the surface occur at a higher energy. It is shown how a steady state can arise in which interstitial clusters are continuously being formed below the surface during an atom impact event which also recombine or diffuse to the surface between impact events. For fcc metals the near surface region remains basically crystalline during the erosion process with a pitted topography which soon attains a steady state roughness.



  • Science


  • Mathematical Sciences


SCOTT, C. ... et al., 2011. Atomistic surface erosion and thin film growth modelled over realistic time scales. Journal of Chemical Physics, 135, 174706.


© American Institute of Physics


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Publication date



This article was published in the Journal of Chemical Physics [© American Institute of Physics] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3657436


  • en

Usage metrics

    Loughborough Publications