Kinetic frustration of Ostwald ripening in Ge/Si(100) hut ensembles

Michael R. McKay, J. A. Venables, Jeffery Drucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We show that low area density Ge/Si(100) island ensembles comprised solely of hut and pyramid clusters do not undergo Ostwald ripening during days-long growth temperature anneals. In contrast, a very low density of large, low chemical potential Ge islands reduce the supersaturation causing the huts and pyramids to ripen. By assuming that huts lengthen by adding single {105} planes that grow from apex-to-base, we use a mean-field facet nucleation model to interpret these experimental observations. We find that each newly completed plane replenishes the nucleation site at the hut apex and depletes the Ge supersaturation by a fixed amount. This provides a feedback mechanism that reduces the island growth rate. As long as the supersaturation remains high enough to support nucleation of additional planes on the narrowest hut cluster, Ostwald ripening is suppressed on an experimental time scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1409
Number of pages7
JournalSolid State Communications
Issue number35-36
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • A. Nanostructures
  • A. Surfaces and interfaces
  • B. Crystal growth
  • B. Epitaxy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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