Faceting and Branching in 2D Crystal Growth

György Tegze1, Gyula Tóth2, László Gránásy1,3

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, U.K.
3BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

Using atomic scale time-dependent density functional calculations we confirm that both diffusion-controlled and diffusionless crystallization modes exist in simple 2D systems. We provide theoretical evidence that a faceted to nonfaceted transition is coupled to these crystallization modes, and faceting is governed by the local supersaturation at the fluid-crystalline interface. We also show that competing modes of crystallization have a major influence on mesopattern formation. Irregularly branched and porous structures are emerging at the crossover of the crystallization modes. The proposed branching mechanism differs essentially from dendritic fingering driven by diffusive instability.

Topics: Phase field crystal