We develop a theoretical model for the recently observed threshold for potential sputtering of LiF by slow singly and doubly charged ions. The threshold coincides with the potential energy to create a cold hole in the valence band of LiF by resonant neutralization. We calculate the level shift of the incident ion and the deformation of the valence band under the influence of the projectile. Resonant neutralization becomes possible for ions with recombination energies larger than 10 eV in agreement with the experimental findings.
Corresponding author: F. Aumayr (aumayr).
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