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Complex crater formation on silicon surfaces by low-energy Ar cluster ion implantation

Journal article
Authors Vladimir Popok
Sergei Prasalovich
Eleanor E B Campbell
Published in Surface Science
Volume 566-568
Pages 1179-1184
Publication year 2004
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 1179-1184
Language en
Keywords Cluster ion implantation, surface morphology, atomic force microscopy
Subject categories Surfaces and interfaces


Silicon samples were implanted by small mass-selected Ar cluster and Ar+ monomer ions with energies in the range of 1.5-18.0 keV/ion. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows simple and complex crater formation on the Si surface at the collision spots. A typical complex crater is surrounded by a low-height (0.5 nm) rim and it encloses a centre-positioned cone-shaped hillock with height of up to 3.5 nm depending on the implantation conditions. The morphology and dimensions of the craters and hillocks are studied as a function of the cluster size and implantation energy. A model explaining the hillock formation with relation to the thermal-transfer effect and local target melting at the collision spot is proposed.

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