Nonequilibrium growth processes are frequently characterized by the width w(L,t) of the active zone, where t is the time elapsed since the start of the process and L is the spatial interval over which the measurement is carried out. Quite generally, w(L,t) obeys a scaling form w(L,t)Lf(tL-z), and many workers have attempted to determine the dynamic universality class of such processes by a measurement of the exponents and z. In this paper, we calculate the steady-state width distribution P(w2) for several three-dimensional growth processes and show that, expressed in a suitable form, P(w2) can be used to distinguish between different possible universality classes. We also reanalyze experimental data obtained by scanning-tunneling or atomic-force microscopy and show that P(w2) provides valuable information on the nature of a growth process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)