Near-threshold, steady state interaction of oxygen ions with transition metals: Sputtering and radiation enhanced diffusion

Parikshit Phadke* (Corresponding Author), Cristiane Regina Stilhano Vilas Boas, J.M. Sturm, Robbert W.E. van de Kruijs, F. Bijkerk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Transition metals used in semiconductor, photolithography and fusion applications interact with low energy oxygen ions. Understanding erosion, the nature of the formed oxide and depth of oxygen transport is necessary in mitigating unexpected performance of sensors, optics or plasma facing components. Oxide formation is governed by both the ion–target combination and the incident ion energy. We study the interaction of the transition metals molybdenum, ruthenium, palladium and tungsten, with oxygen ions in the energy region of 50–500 eV. Near-threshold sputtering of metals was experimentally measured and compared to predictions by the Monte Carlo code TRIDYN. Compositional changes and oxide thicknesses following sputtering were measured using Angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and subsequently compared to limiting oxide formed by atomic oxygen exposures. Sputter yields in some cases (ruthenium) were found to be sensitive to ion beam impurities such as ozone (<1% of background gas) leading to chemical sputtering. Ion induced oxide thicknesses (for molybdenum and tungsten) were found to be larger than those predicted by ballistic transport where sputtering is balanced by implantation. It is hypothesized that radiation enhanced diffusion of free oxygen leads to thicker oxide films at low ion energies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number146143
Number of pages11
JournalApplied surface science
Early online date24 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Near-threshold
  • Transition metals
  • Sputter yields
  • Radiation enhanced diffusion
  • Oxidation


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