Low area density Ge/Si(100) hut cluster ensembles are stable during days-long growth temperature anneals. Real-time scanning tunneling microscopy shows that all islands grow slowly at a decreasing rate throughout the anneal. Island growth depletes the Ge supersaturation that, in turn, reduces the island growth rate. A mean-field facet nucleation and growth model quantitatively predicts the observed growth rate. It shows that Ostwald ripening is kinetically suppressed for Ge supersaturations high enough to support a critical nucleus size less than the smallest facet.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy