Collisional and thermal effects on liquid lithium sputtering

J. P. Allain, M. D. Coventry, D. N. Ruzic

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43 Scopus citations


The lithium sputtering yield from lithium and tin-lithium surfaces in the liquid state under bombardment by low-energy, singly charged particles as a function of target temperature is measured by using the Ion-surface Interaction Experiment facility. Total erosion exceeds that expected from conventional collisional sputtering after accounting for lithium evaporation for temperatures between 200 and 400°C. Lithium surfaces treated with high-fluence D atoms are bombarded by H+, D+, He+, and Li+ at energies between 200 and 1000 eV and 45° incidence. Erosion measurements account for temperature-dependent evaporation. For example, 700 eV He+ particles bombarding the D-treated liquid Li surface at room temperature result in a sputter yield of 0.12 Li/ion and at temperatures ∼2.0 Tm (where Tm is the melting temperature of the sample), a yield near and above unity. The enhancement of lithium sputtering is observed to be a strong function of temperature and moderately on particle energy. Bombardment of a low-vapor-pressure lithium alloy (0.8 Sn-Li), used for comparison, also results in nonlinear rise of lithium erosion as a function of temperature. Measurements on both pure liquid Li and the alloy indicate a weak dependence with surface temperature of the secondary ion-induced secondary ion emission. Treatment of liquid Li surfaces with D, yields reduced sputtering under He+ impact by a factor of 5-6 when measured at room temperature due to preferential sputtering effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205434
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 26 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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