Matrix and substrate effects on the sputtering of a 2 kDa molecule: Insights from molecular dynamics

A. Delcorte, B. Arezki, B. J. Garrison

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In an effort towards a more accurate theoretical description of matrix and substrate effects in organic sputtering, we report on molecular dynamics simulations of the desorption induced by 500 eV Ar projectiles bombarding samples composed of polystyrene (PS) oligomers embedded in a trimethylbenzene matrix or cast on a silver substrate. The ejection of intact PS molecules, sometimes accompanied by matrix molecules/silver atoms, is observed in the first 10 ps following the impact. For the "matrix" sample, the results indicate that the emission of large amounts of organic material is mostly vibrationally induced. Extended calculations show that matrix:analyte clusters decay after emission, liberating the analyte in flight. In the case of the "substrate" sample, the emission is oftentimes the result of the concerted upward motion of several metal atoms underneath the molecule. Finally, the comparison between a matrix:analyte sample confined in a nanostructured silver crystal and a purely organic sample under identical bombardment conditions shows that the presence of the silver medium significantly enhances the desorption yields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 2003
EventAtomic Collisions in Solids - India, India
Duration: Jan 19 2003Jan 24 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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