Statistical Physics

Ratchet effect in surface electromigration: smoothing surfaces by an ac field

We demonstrate that for surfaces that have a nonzero Schwoebel barrier the application of an ac field parallel to the surface induces a net electromigration current that points in the descending step direction. The magnitude of the current is calculated analytically and compared with Monte Carlo simulations. Since a downhill current smoothes the surface, our results imply that the application of ac fields can aid the smoothing process during annealing and can slow or eliminate the Schwoebel-barrier-induced mound formation during growth.


More publications
Z. Neda, E. Ravasz, Y. Brechet, T. Vicsek, A.-L. Barabási

Nature 403, 849-850 (2000)

P. Molinas-Mata, M.A. Munoz, D.O. Martinez, A.-L. Barabási

Physical Review E 54, 968–971 (1996)

M. A. Makeev, A.-L. Barabási

Applied Physics Letters 71, 2800–2802 (1997)