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Origin of atomic clusters during ion sputtering

By LE Rehn, RC Birtcher, SE Donnelly, PM Baldo and L Funk


Previous studies have shown that the size distributions of small clusters ( n<=40 n = number of atoms/cluster) generated by sputtering obey an inverse power law with an exponent between -8 and -4. Here we report electron microscopy studies of the size distributions of larger clusters ( n>=500) sputtered by high-energy ion impacts. These new measurements also yield an inverse power law, but one with an exponent of -2 and one independent of sputtering yield, indicating that the large clusters are produced when shock waves, generated by subsurface displacement cascades, ablate the surface

Topics: QC, other
Publisher: American Physical Society
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