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The effect of ion mass and target temperature on the energy distribution of sputtered atoms

Nuclear Instruments and Methods
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0029-554x(80)91034-4


Abstract Measurements of the absolute energy spectrum d 2S/ dE dΩ of gold atoms sputtered from a gold target at 30°C by Ar + and Xe + ions with energies up to 20 keV are reported. It appears that when the local energy density exceeds a critical figure the spectrum departs from its normal form, with a peak at about 2 eV and an E 2 tail, to a spectrum dominated by a low energy peak at ∼ 10 −1 eV. The normal peak is usually attributed to binary collision cascades ejecting atoms through a planar potential barrier, the low energy peak is consistent with ejection from a spike region in which neighbouring atoms collide several times and for which thermal evaporation has hitherto provided a crude model. In these experiments the peak of the spectrum for Xe + bombardment behaves inconsistently with the thermal spike model and demonstrates the need for a better theory of high density cascades.

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