Molecular dynamics simulations of sputtering of Langmuir - Blodgett multilayers by kiloelectronvolt C 60 projectiles

R. Paruch, L. Rzeznik, B. Czerwinski, B. J. Garrison, N. Winograd, Z. Postawa

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14 Scopus citations


Coarse-grained molecular dynamics computer simulations are applied to investigate fundamental processes induced by an impact of keV C 60 projectile at an organic overlayer composed of long, well-organized linear molecules. The energy transfer pathways, sputtering yields, and the damage induced in the irradiated system, represented by Langmuir - Blodgett (LB) multilayers composed of molecules of bariated arachidic acid, are investigated as a function of the kinetic energy and impact angle of the projectile and the thickness of the organic system. In particular, the unique challenges of depth profiling through a LB film versus a more isotropic solid are discussed. The results indicate that the trajectories of projectile fragments and, consequently, the primary energy can be channeled by the geometrical structure of the overlayer. Although, a similar process is known from sputtering of single crystals by atomic projectiles, it has not been anticipated to occur during C 60 bombardment due to the large size of the projectile. An open and ordered molecular structure of LB films is responsible for such behavior. Both the extent of damage and the efficiency of sputtering depend on the kinetic energy, the impact angle, and the layer thickness. The results indicate that the best depth profiling conditions can be achieved with low-energy cluster projectiles irradiating the organic overlayer at large off-normal angles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5641-5648
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 9 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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