Smoothing of rough surfaces

Angel Sánchez, A. R. Bishop, David Cai, Niels Gronbech-Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simulations of surface smoothing (healing) by Langevin dynamics in large systems are reported. The surface model is described by a two-dimensional discrete sine-Gordon (solid-on-solid) equation. We study how initially circular terraces decay in time for both zero and finite temperatures and we compare the results of our simulations with various analytical predictions. We then apply this knowledge to the smoothing of a rough surface obtained by heating an initially flat surface above the roughening temperature and then quenching it. We identify three regimes in terms of their time evolution, which we are able to associate with the resulting terrace morphology. The regimes consist of a short initial stage, during which small scale fluctuations disappear; an intermediate, longer time interval, when evolution can be understood in terms of terraces and their interaction; and a final situation in which almost all terraces have been suppressed. We discuss the implications of our results for modeling rough surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5433-5444
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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