Activation energies for diffusion of Si adatoms and dimers on a Si(100) surface are estimated through computer simulations. The potential field is probed by forcing an adatom to move adiabatically, while the surrounding atoms relax. The Stillinger–Weber potential is used. It is found that (1) the diffusion barrier height for an isolated adatom is smaller than that for a dimer; (2) the activation energies are comparable for the two atoms in a dimer to hop together or to separate from each other; (3) the activation energies of an isolated dimer, a dimer sitting next to a dimer chain, and a dimer at the end of a dimer chain are almost identical, despite differences in the binding energies.

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