Ultrathin metal films consisting of two-dimensional clusters are typically unstable: the cluster ensemble has the tendency to reduce its total free energy via Ostwald ripening or dynamic coalescence of mobile clusters. In this paper we give an overview of recent model experiments addressing these coarsening mechanisms. The experiments have been performed using STM on ensembles consisting of adatom or vacancy clusters with typical diameters in the nanometer range on fcc(111)-metal surfaces. Agreement with and deviations from conventional theories are discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Applied physics A: Materials science and processing|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|