After working through this TLP you should understand:
- the importance of growing thin films which are flat at the atomic scale;
- the reasons why three different types of growth can occur during epitaxial deposition;
- the factors which determine the growth mode and hence the flatness of the resultant film;
- the importance of strain in the growth of heteroepitaxial films.
If you read some of the recommended further material (below) you will also appreciate the range of applications for epitaxial films and the existence of alternative growth techniques.
Most of the literature relating to epitaxy has arisen in the context of semiconducting or oxide systems. There are currently good articles on Wikipedia which can be found if you search for the following key words:
More on the material covered in this TLP:
- Stranski-Krastanov growth
- Molecular beam epitaxy ( don't search for MBE)
For some ideas on why we grow epitaxial thin films:
- Quantum well
- Laser diode
And for some background on other approaches to growth, search for:
- Thin film solar cell