Surface diffusion and growth

SEM images of hexagonal pipes in 6H-SiC(0001) created by patterning and controlled hydrogen etching.

The basis for production of thin films and nano-structures is surface diffusion and growth from the gas phase. The elementary diffusion processes like single atom diffusion on a crystal facet, cluster nucleation, diffusion and dissociation and diffusion across atomic step edges control the growth process on the atomic scale and determine the shape of the grown film or structure. We study these elementary diffusion processes to develop recipes for growth of flat films and nano-structures on semiconductors and metals.

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