Ratchet effect in surface electromigration: Smoothing surfaces by an ac field

Imre Derényi, Choongseop Lee, Albert László Barabási

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that for surfaces that have a nonzero Schwoebel barrier the application of an ac field parallel to the surface induces a net electromigration current that points in the descending step direction. The magnitude of the current is calculated analytically and compared with Monte Carlo simulations. Since a downhill current smoothes the surface, our results imply that the application of ac fields can aid the smoothing process during annealing and can slow or eliminate the Schwoebel-barrier-induced mound formation during growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1476
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 16 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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