Analytical and numerical modeling of columnar evolution in thin films

D. J. Srolovitz, A. Mazor, B. G. Bukiet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


A theory for the growth of columnar microstructure in thin films is presented. The zone II columnar microstructure is shown to result from a balance between shadowing (which results in zone I microstructures) and surface diffusion (which tends to smooth the surface). The zone I to zone II transition temperature is predicted together with the type of unstable modes. The surface morphology and the columnar grain structure are obtained both analytically and numerically. The scaling behavior of the grain size with film thickness is derived. Monte Carlo computer simulations follow the temporal evolution of three-dimensional zone II microstructures, and account for growth competition between adjacent grains, and the formation of film texture. These results agree with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2371-2380
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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