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The effect of surface stress and wetting layers on morphological instability in epitaxially strained films

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3 Author(s)
Savina, T.V. ; Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208 ; Voorhees, P.W. ; Davis, S.H.

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This paper investigates effects of surface stress and wetting layers on the morphological instability of a growing epitaxially strained dislocation-free solid film. Linear stability analysis of the planar film shows that the film, unstable due to lattice mismatch, is affected differently by surface stress for a film under compression than for one under tension and depends on whether the relative stiffness of the film to the substrate is less than or greater than (1-2ν)-1; here ν is Poisson’s ratio. The presence of a wetting layer has the capacity to substantially stabilize the planar film. The critical thickness of the film below which the film is stable depends on the bulk elastic properties of film and substrate and increases with increase of the wetting potential.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:96 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Sep 2004

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