We have investigated the effect of In on the homoepitaxial growth of Cu(100) by surface x-ray diffraction. We show that In enhances the interlayer transport by lowering the barrier for interlayer diffusion (Schwoebel barrier) at step edges. This effect is most pronounced for growth at low temperatures or when In is annealed on the surface before Cu deposition is started. Enhanced island nucleation cannot explain the smoother growth. The results are in agreement with recent calculations. We speculate that In also has a neutralizing effect on contaminants or defects.

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Journal Phys. Rev. B
van der Vegt, H. A, Breeman, M, Ferrer, S, Etgens, V. H, Torrelles, X, Fajardo, P, & Vlieg, E. (1995). Indium-induced lowering of the Schwoebel barrier in the homoepitaxial growth of Cu(100). Phys. Rev. B, 51, 14806–14809.