Surfactant-mediated growth of nonequilibrium interfaces

A number of recent experiments have shown that surfactants can modify the growth mode of an epitaxial film, suppressing islanding and promoting layer-by-layer growth. Here I introduce a set of coupled equations to describe the nonequilibrium roughening of an interface covered with a thin surfactant layer. The surfactant may drive the system into a novel phase, in which the surface roughness is negative, corresponding to a flat surface.


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