The present report deals with the main aspects of the interaction of slow (impact velocity typically
below 1 a.u.) multicharged ions (MCI) with atomically clean solid surfaces of metals,
semiconductors and insulators. It is based to a large extent on the results obtained by the authors
and their affiliates within the Human Capital and Mobility Network of the European Union on
"Interaction of Slow Highly Charged Ions with Solid Surfaces", which has been carried out
during the last three years.
After briefly reviewing the pertinent historical developments, the experimental and theoretical techniques applied nowadays in the field of MCI-surface interaction studies are explained in detail, discussing especially the transient formation and relaxation of "hollow atoms" formed in such collisions. Further on, the status of the field is exemplified by numerous results from recent studies on MCI-induced emission of slow and fast electrons (yields and energy distributions), projectile soft X-ray spectroscopy, charge-changing and energy loss of scattered and surface-channelled projectiles, MCI-induced sputtering and secondary ion emission, and coincidence measurements involving different signatures from the above processes. The presented theoretical and experimental work has greatly contributed to an improved understanding of the strongly inter-related electronic transitions taking place for MCI above, at and below a solid surface.
Corresponding author: HP. Winter. Reprints available from F. Aumayr (aumayr).
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