Kinetically assisted potential sputtering of insulators by highly charged ions

G. Hayderer1, S. Cernusca1, M. Schmid1, P. Varga1, H.P. Winter1, F. Aumayr1, D. Niemann2, V. Hoffmann2, N. Stolterfoht2, C. Lemell3, L. Wirtz3, J. Burgdörfer3

1Institut für Allgemeine Physik, Technische Universität Wien, A-1040 Wien, Austria
2Hahn Meitner Institut, Glienickerstr.100, D-10109 Berlin, Germany
3Institut für Theoretische Physik, Technische Universität Wien, A-1040 Wien, Austria

Phys. Rev. Lett. 86 (2001) 3530-3533

A new form of potential sputtering has been found for impact of slow (<= 1500 eV) multiply charged Xe ions (charge states up to q=25) on MgOx. In contrast to alkali-halide or SiO2 surfaces this mechanism requires the simultaneous presence of electronic excitations of the target material and of a kinetically formed collision cascade within the target in order to initiate the sputtering process. This kinetically-assisted potential sputtering mechanism has been identified to be present for other insulating surfaces as well.

Corresponding author: F. Aumayr (aumayr< encoded email address >).

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