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Nonclassical “Explosive” Nucleation in Pb/Si(111) at Low Temperatures
Physical Review Letters
  • Matthew T. Hershberger, Iowa State University
  • Myron Hupalo, Ames Laboratory
  • Patricia A. Thiel, Iowa State University
  • Cai-Zhuang Wang, Ames Laboratory
  • Kai-Ming Ho, Iowa State University
  • Michael C. Tringides, Iowa State University
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Classically, the onset of nucleation is defined in terms of a critical cluster of the condensed phase, which forms from the gradual aggregation of randomly diffusing adatoms. Experiments in Pb/Si(111) at low temperature have discovered a dramatically different type of nucleation, with perfect crystalline islands emerging “explosively” out of the compressed wetting layer after a critical coverage Θc ¼ 1.22 ML is reached. The unexpectedly high island growth rates, the directional correlations in the growth of neighboring islands and the persistence in time of where mass is added in individual islands, suggest that nucleation is a result of the highly coherent motion of the wetting layer, over mesoscopic distances.

This article is from Physical Review Letters 113 (2014): 236101, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.236101. Posted with permission.

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American Physical Society
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Matthew T. Hershberger, Myron Hupalo, Patricia A. Thiel, Cai-Zhuang Wang, et al.. "Nonclassical “Explosive” Nucleation in Pb/Si(111) at Low Temperatures" Physical Review Letters Vol. 113 Iss. 23 (2014) p. 236101-1 - 236101-5
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