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Strain-induced domain formation

Thin layers adsorbed on crystalline surfaces are generally strained owing to their lattice mismatch with respect to the substrate. For large adsorbate-substrate interactions, slight lattice mismatches lead to incommensurability, which can be employed for the self-organization of quantum-dots or quantum wires. While in atomic systems one cannot easily distinguish between pure strain effects and material specific interactions colloidal model systems allow to precisley adjust all system interactions and thus to mimic strain-induced domain formation in real space.

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