Step-edge barriers: Truths and kinetic consequences

Kentaro Kyuno, Gert Ehrlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Observations of individual atoms on metal surfaces have shown that the diffusion potential at descending steps is not the simple repulsive barrier usually assumed in crystal growth. Instead, atoms may be held in asymmetric traps at step edges, and there are significant distortions of the potential near ascending steps. That the presence of step-edge traps instead of repulsive barriers can have a crucial effect on atomic kinetics is demonstrated by analyzing three processes important in crystal growth: the lifetime of atoms before incorporating into a cluster, dissociation of atoms from lattice steps, and incorporation on vicinal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L766-L774
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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