Stress-induced morphological instabilities at the nanoscale examined using the phase field crystal approach

Kuo An Wu*, Peter W Voorhees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

The stress-induced morphological instability of an interface is examined with the recently developed phase field crystal (PFC) approach. Our results show that the interface width, generally assumed to be zero thickness in classical theory, is a crucial length scale for phenomena at the nanoscale. We find that the critical wavenumber of the instability deviates from the prediction of the continuum theory when the length scale of the instability is on the order of the interface width. In addition, we find that large stresses induce nonlinear elastic effects that alter both the wavelength of the instability and the interfacial morphology. This nonlinear elastic effect is generic and thus will be observable during heteroepitaxy. Finally, we show that the diffusional dynamics employed in the PFC model can capture quantitatively the stress field that accompanies the diffusional evolution of interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125408
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume80
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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