Morphological instability in epitaxially strained dislocation-free solid films

B. J. Spencer*, P. W. Voorhees, S. H. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


We perform the first analysis of the morphological instability of a growing epitaxially strained dislocation-free olid film. We derive an evolution equation for the film surface based on surface diffusion driven by a stress-dependent chemical potential. From the time-dependent linear stability problem we determine the conditions for which a growing film is unstable. Our results reveal that the critical film thickness for instability depends on the growth rate of the film itself, and that the instability we describe exhibits many of the observed features of the onset of the island instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3696-3699
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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