Atomistic simulation of ion beam patterning with crater functions

Zhangcan Yang, Purdue University
Michael M. Lively, Purdue University
Jean Paul Allain, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



In this study, an atomistic model is developed to simulate ripple pattern formation when a surface is irradiated by incident low-energy energetic ions. The model treats individual ion impacts using crater functions, which represent the average change in the surface shape due to a single-ion impact. These functions incorporate the complete redistribution of mass along the surface due to an impact, and not just that due to sputtering. While most models only treat erosion, analysis of the craters reveals that the amount of mass redistributed across the surface is an order of magnitude greater than the mass removed by sputtering. Simulations in this study are conducted for 500 eV Ar+ bombardments of Si at angles of 0 degrees to 60 degrees with 5 degrees increment at temperature of 350 K. Initial simulations with this model have shown agreement with prior observations of ripple pattern formation. However, some significant departures from other models based on the Bradley-Harper theory have emerged; the key difference is that the presence of crater rims plays a key role in ripple formation, which could explain phenomena such as maximum ripple amplitudes which most models do not account for. These results show that atomistic crater functions are a viable method for modeling ion beam patterning. They indicate that mass redistribution is a key mechanism for surface patterning. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology