Finite Size Effects on Surface Excess Quantities and Application to Crystal Growth and Surface Melting of Epitaxial Layers


From a macroscopic viewpoint phase transitions as surface melting or growth mode can be described in terms of Gibbs excess quantity duly amended by size effect. The aim of this study is to consider such amended quantities to describe surface melting and Stranski-Krastanov transition of epitaxial layers. The size effect so introduced allows to predict the equilibrium thickness of the wetting layer of Stranski-Krastanov growth mode and to describe and classify two different melting cases: the incomplete premelting relayed by a first order transition and the continuous premelting relayed by continuous overheating.