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Nanohillock formation by impact of small low-energy clusters with surfaces

Journal article
Authors Vladimir Popok
Sergei Prasalovich
Eleanor E B Campbell
Published in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B
Volume 207
Issue 2
Pages 145-153
Publication year 2003
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 145-153
Language en
Keywords cluster source, cluster ion implantation, nanosize hillock, atomic force microscopy
Subject categories Atomic physics, Surfaces and interfaces


Results on nanoscale structuring of different substrates (silicon, pyrolytic graphite, indium-tin-oxide) using clusters from 20 to 100 atoms in size formed from gaseous precursors (O2, N2, Ar) at relatively low impact energy up to 15 keV are presented. Images of the substrate surfaces after cluster collisions obtained using atomic force microscopy (AFM) show the formation of hillocks from a few to 15 nm height with a basal diameter from 50 to 300 nm depending on implantation conditions. The shape and size of the structures are found to be a function of the cluster size and species, implantation energy, impact angle and the type of substrate. A model explaining the hillock formation is discussed.

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