The self-patterning of the strain field that arises in the growth of stacked multilayers of heteroepitaxial islands, together with the capability of tuning the island size by acting on the deposition temperature, are here exploited to obtain self-organization, resulting in well-ordered clusters composed of regularly disposed, nanosized islands. Our results show that the island spatial distribution can be tuned from a random one to a well-ordered square lattice of island clusters, and that the number of islands inside each cluster can be selected. Moreover, due to the dipole repulsive interaction between adjacent islands, the islands themselves arrange in an ordered fashion inside a single cluster along the same - crystalline directions of the long-range cluster ordering.
Capellini, G., M., D.S., F., E., AND C., S. (2003). Ordering self-assembled islands without substrate patterning. APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 82, 1772-1774 [10.1063/1.1561163].