Bistability in the shape transition of strained islands

Henricus J.W. Zandvliet, Raoul van Gastel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


The equilibrium shape of a monatomic strained island on a substrate depends on the step free energies and the difference in surface stress between the island and the substrate. For small island sizes the step free energies dominate, resulting in compact islands. Beyond a critical island size, however, the strain energy becomes dominant and the island maximizes its perimeter, resulting in elongated islands. Here we show that for strained islands with force monopoles pointing in opposing directions at neighboring steps, a regime exists near the critical island size where both compact and elongated shapes can coexist.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)136103-
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-59164
  • METIS-242122

Cite this