Molecular dynamics simulation of Cu deposition near a step on the Cu(001) surface showing steering effect (attraction to top layer of step)
Atom landing 'on top' of step atom:
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Notice how the depositing atom first "bounces" before being attracted to the top terrace.
The depositing atom is again initially close to the critical distance y = 0.3 b, beyond the edge of the step, corresponding to attraction to the top terrace but is now 'on top' of the nearby step atom.
(Atom initial kinetic energy = 0.1 eV, substrate temperature = 84 K)