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The area (, in unit of ) of the adatom island as a function of time in the overlayer growth of a Pb mesa, showing three different growth stages. The insets show the STM images recorded at the different stages. is the starting point of growth (see left inset). At , the adatom island touches the mesa top edge (middle inset), and it grow quickly along the mesa top edge to form a closed annular ring at (right inset). From to , the annular ring grows slowly inward until forming a complete overlayer.
Schematics of an incomplete ring along the Pb mesa top edge, showing the mesa top morphology with different types of step edges, facet-facet edges, and facet-step joints.
Calculated energy curve along diffusion path of an adatom crossing: (a) an A facet-facet edge from (001) sidewall facet to (111) top facet, and (b) a -facet-facet edge from sidewall facet to (111) top facet.
Calculated energy curve along the diffusion path of an adatom crossing (a) an joint from (001) sidewall facet to -step edge on the mesa top and (b) a joint from sidewall facet to -step edge on the mesa top.
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