Desorption of large organic molecules induced by keV projectiles

A. Delcorte, B. J. Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In order to understand the emission of organic molecules in sputtering, classical molecular dynamics (MD) is used to model the 5 keV Ar atom bombardment of polystyrene oligomers adsorbed on Ag{1 1 1}. The analysis of the results shows that a significant fraction of the trajectories generates high action events in the sample. These events are characterized by the simultaneous motion of several hundreds of substrate atoms and, oftentimes, by high emission yields of substrate atoms, clusters and polystyrene molecules. Collision trees representing the energetic part of the cascades confirm that high sputtering yields of molecules occur when a large portion of the primary particle energy is quickly dissipated in the upper layers of the silver substrate. This class of events where high action occurs in the surface region might explain the ejection of organic species with a mass of several kilodaltons such as biomolecules and synthetic polymers. In the simulation, these events are capable of desorbing polystyrene molecules of ∼2 kDa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jun 2001
EventComputer Simulation of Radiation Effects in Solids Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms - State College, PA, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2000Jul 28 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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