A rate-equation model for the growth of metallic thin films in ion beam assisted deposition

J. Sillanpää*, I. T. Koponen, N. Gronbech-Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We describe a simple and fast rate-equation model for surface growth during ion beam assisted metal-on-metal deposition. In terms of the rate coefficients the model describes how island detachment and breakup, adatom diffusion and interlayer transitions of adatoms affect the growth. Results from our model can be directly compared to experimental data, also for coverages of several layers. We identify parameter values corresponding to different modes of growth and locate the phase boundary between them as a function of temperature. We also show that in ideal layer-by-layer growth island size distributions retain the regular scaling form. Our model shows that in order to obtain thin films of good quality, both efficient detachment of adatoms and sufficiently fast interlayer transitions are needed. The results validate the approximations made in an earlier, more coarse-grained model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-530
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • IBAD
  • MBE
  • Rate equation
  • Surface growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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