Dynamics of dislocations and surface instabilities in misfitting heteroepitaxial films

Mikko Haataja, Judith Müller, A. D. Rutenberg, Martin Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a continuum model of elasticity in a nonequilibrium multiphase system-including smooth and singular strains, as well as their coupling to free surfaces-and apply it to the dynamics of misfitting heteroepitaxial films. Above a critical thickness, defects relieve strain, competing with an instability at the interface. Depending on their mobility, defects can screen stress by building up at large-curvature groove tips, leading to high ductility, or be “outrun” by the tips, leading to brittleness. Hence we find a nonequilibrium brittle to ductile transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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