Selective nucleation and controlled growth: Quantum dots on metal, insulator and semiconductor surfaces

J. A. Venables, Peter Bennett, H. Brune, Jeffery Drucker, J. H. Harding, P. Dobson, R. A. Oliver, A. M. Stoneham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nucleation and growth models are well developed for nucleation on homogeneous substrates, and they can typically be described in terms of three energy parameters. Nucleation on substrates containing point-defect traps has been investigated, at the cost of introducing more energy parameters. This paper outlines the quantitative description of such growth models, using rate and rate-diffusion equations, in terms of energies for individual surface processes, with examples taken from metal- metal, metal-insulator and semiconductor growth. The challenge to modelling is to describe the large range of length and time-scales in thin-film fabrication and degradation, without relying on too many (unknown) material parameters, which often occur in combination. Separating them into elementary processes often proves to be a challenge. One typically requires selective nucleation using patterned substrates, in combination with controlled, self-organized, growth for reliable nanotechnology. Reconstructed semiconductor surfaces offer both a further challenge to modelling and an opportunity for future technology; these paradoxes are discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-329
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1803
StatePublished - Feb 15 2003


  • Metal growth
  • Nucleation and growth
  • Patterned substrates
  • Rate equations
  • Rate-diffusion equations
  • Semiconductor growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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