Physical Review Letter -- September 1, 1997 -- Volume 79, Number
9, pp. 1694-1697
Interactions Between Fluctuating Steps on Vicinal Surfaces: Edge
Energy Effects in Reconstruction Induced Faceting
Da-Jiang Liu and John D. Weeks
Surface reconstruction can generate effective attractive
interactions between steps on vicinal surfaces, leading to the formation
of step bunches. Modified repulsive
interactions arise from the fluctuations of a step in the asymmetric
environment at the edge of the step bunch. These are determined by
a mapping to the ground state energy of a quantum
particle between two rigid walls in an external field.
This yields an edge energy term that controls the dynamics of
faceting and causes wider step spacings at the edge of the bunch,
in agreement with Monte Carlo simulations.
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