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What are the mechanisms leading to the shape relaxation of three dimensional crystallites ? Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of fcc clusters show that the usual theories of equilibration, via atomic surface diffusion driven by curvature, are verified only at high temperatures. Below the roughening temperature, the relaxation is much slower, kinetics being governed by the nucleation of a critical germ on a facet. We show that the energy barrier for this step linearly increases with the size ofdoi:10.1103/physrevlett.85.110 pmid:10991171 fatcat:upltsofeeng3zf46kj6arsjkl4