Parallel kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of Ag(111) island coarsening using a large database



G. Nandipati; Y. Shim; J. G. Amar; A. Karim; A. Kara; T. S. Rahman;O. Trushin


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The results of parallel kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations of the room-temperature coarsening of Ag(111) islands carried out using a very large database obtained via self-learning KMC simulations are presented. Our results indicate that, while cluster diffusion and coalescence play an important role for small clusters and at very early times, at late time the coarsening proceeds via Ostwald ripening, i.e. large clusters grow while small clusters evaporate. In addition, an asymptotic analysis of our results for the average island size S(t) as a function of time t leads to a coarsening exponent n = 1/3 (where S(t) similar to t(2n)), in good agreement with theoretical predictions. However, by comparing with simulations without concerted (multi-atom) moves, we also find that the inclusion of such moves significantly increases the average island size. Somewhat surprisingly we also find that, while the average island size increases during coarsening, the scaled island- size distribution does not change significantly. Our simulations were carried out both as a test of, and as an application of, a variety of different algorithms for parallel kinetic Monte Carlo including the recently developed optimistic synchronous relaxation (OSR) algorithm as well as the semi-rigorous synchronous sublattice (SL) algorithm. A variation of the OSR algorithm corresponding to optimistic synchronous relaxation with pseudo-rollback (OSRPR) is also proposed along with a method for improving the parallel efficiency and reducing the number of boundary events via dynamic boundary allocation (DBA). A variety of other methods for enhancing the efficiency of our simulations are also discussed. We note that, because of the relatively high temperature of our simulations, as well as the large range of energy barriers (ranging from 0.05 to 0.8 eV), developing an efficient algorithm for parallel KMC and/or SLKMC simulations is particularly challenging. However, by using DBA to minimize the number of boundary events, we have achieved significantly improved parallel efficiencies for the OSRPR and SL algorithms. Finally, we note that, among the three parallel algorithms which we have tested here, the semi-rigorous SL algorithm with DBA led to the highest parallel efficiencies. As a result, we have obtained reasonable parallel efficiencies in our simulations of room-temperature Ag(111) island coarsening for a small number of processors (e. g. N(p) = 2 and 4). Since the SL algorithm scales with system size for fixed processor size, we expect that comparable and/or even larger parallel efficiencies should be possible for parallel KMC and/or SLKMC simulations of larger systems with larger numbers of processors.

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Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter





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