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).
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