Low energy ion impact phenomena on single crystal surfaces

Don E. Harrison, P. W. Kelly, Barbara J. Garrison, Nicholas Winograd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


The dynamics of a solid bombarded by a 600 eV Ar+ ion have been studied classically by computer simulation. The model uses a crystallite of about 250 atoms described by pair potentials derived from elastic constants and which reproduce the surface binding energy of the solid. The relative calculated yield of secondary atom emission from the three low index faces of Cu follow the previously determined experimental order (111) > (100) > (110). We find major differences in the sputtering mechanisms for these faces. On (110), the impacted atom is ejected most frequently, while on (111) and (100) it almost never leaves the solid. We report the energy distribution of the sputtered particles for each face. The simulation successfully predicts the shape of the curve including the low energy maximum which is observed experimentally near 2 eV. In addition our model shows that many low energy atoms attempt to leave the crystal but are subsequently trapped to the solid at large distances from their original sites. This mechanism of radiation enhanced diffusion inevitably occurs in conjunction with sputtering or any other heavy secondary particle emission or scattering process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalSurface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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