Sputtering and ion transport of low energy reactive ions interacting with transition metal surfaces

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The rise of the semiconductor and photolithography industry, along with the search for cleaner energy generation via fusion reactors, has propelled the need to understand fundamental processes in low energy ion interactions with transition metal surfaces. Here, we present one of the few comprehensive studies on the sputtering of transition metal surfaces bombarded by monoenergetic, high flux ion beams. Results of sputter yields using quartz crystal microbalances (QCM) were coupled with X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and ballistic Monte Carlo simulations. We demonstrate that by using this combination, it is possible to observe and separate processes such as sputtering, implantation, and radiation enhanced diffusion. Further, bombardment effects on surface morphology studied using Atomic Force Microscopy revealed roughening (smoothing) by nitrogen (oxygen) ion bombardment. The mechanism hypothesized to be dependent on the formation and cohesion energies of the respective compounds may potentially explain the deficiencies of a pure energy transfer consideration. The results from this work further our understanding of ion transport phenomena, and aids in the design of plasma-facing materials resistant to performance degradation by tuning film thickness and surface layer materials to compensate for, or reduce ion transport.
Period19 Jan 2021
Event titlePhysics@Veldhoven 2021: The Magic of Physics
Event typeConference
LocationOnline Event, Netherlands


  • Plasma Surface Interactions
  • Monte Carlo Simulations
  • Radiation Enhanced Diffusion effects