Kinetic processes in the transition from metastable Ag(111) crystallites to (Formula presented) domains in the initial growth of Ag on the Si(111)-(7×7) surface have been investigated using spot profile analysis low-energy electron diffraction. Upon annealing above 468 K, the number density (Formula presented) of metastable Ag(111) crystallites (deposited at (Formula presented)) is found to decrease exponentially with time (Formula presented) Simultaneously, the average size of (Formula presented) domains increases as (Formula presented) with the exponent (Formula presented) increasing with initially deposited coverage and limited to a range of (Formula presented) A theoretical model for this structural transition is established to explain these observations, which is based on a kinetic process driven by the step-edge line tension of terraces in the Ag(111) crystallites. Also, a dissociation energy of an atom from the step edge of a Ag(111) crystallite is determined to be (Formula presented).


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

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© 1997 American Physical Society

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Physical Review B