Lattice effects in crystal evaporation

We study the dynamics of a stepped crystal surface during evaporation, using the classical model of Burton, Cabrera and Frank, in which the dynamics of the surface is represented as a motion of parallel, monatomic steps. The validity of the continuum approximation treated by Frank is checked against numerical calculations and simple, qualitative arguments. The continuum approximation is found to suffer from limitations related, in particular, to the existence of angular points. These limitations are often related to the adatom detachment rate which is higher on the lower side of each step than on the upper side ('Schwoebel effect').