The Dynamics of Thin Film Growth: A Modeling Study

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Martha A. Gallivan, Richard M. Murray, David G. Goodwin
Electrochemical Society, May 2000

For closed-loop control of thin film deposition, one would like to directly control film properties such as roughness, stress, or composition, rather than process parameters like temperatures and flow rates. This requires a model of the dynamic response of film properties to changes in process conditions. Direct atomistic simulation is far too slow to be used in this capacity, but a promising approach we explore here is to derive reduced-order dynamic models from atomistic simulations.

In this paper, we consider film growth on a vicinal surface using a kinetic Monte Carlo model. The temperature range spans the transition from smooth step flow to rough island growth. Proper Orthogonal Decomposition is used to extract the dominant spatial modes from the KMC simulations. Only five spatial modes adequately represent the roughness dynamics for all simulated times and temperatures, indicating that a 5-state model may be sufficient for real-time roughness control.