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Ion beam processing of surfaces and interfaces – Modeling and atomistic simulations
Liedke, B.
Self-organization of regular surface pattern under ion beam erosion was described in detail by Navez in 1962. Several years later in 1986 Bradley and Harper (BH) published the first self-consistent theory on this phenomenon based on the competition of surface roughening described by Sigmund’s sputter theory and surface smoothing by Mullins-Herring diffusion. Many papers that followed BH theory introduced other processes responsible for the surface patterning e.g. viscous flow, redeposition, phase separation, preferential sputtering, etc. The present understanding is still not sufficient to specify the dominant driving forces responsible for self-organization. 3D atomistic simulations can improve the understanding by reproducing the pattern formation with the detailed microscopic description of the driving forces. 2D simulations published so far can contribute to this understanding only partially.

A novel program package for 3D atomistic simulations called trider (TRansport of Ions in matter with DEfect Relaxation), which unifies full collision cascade simulation with atomistic relaxation processes, has been developed. The collision cascades are provided by simulations based on the Binary Collision Approximation, and the relaxation processes are simulated with the 3D lattice kinetic Monte-Carlo method. This allows, without any phenomenological model, a full 3D atomistic description on experimental spatiotemporal scales. Recently discussed new mechanisms of surface patterning like ballistic mass drift or the dependence of the local morphology on sputtering yield are inherently included in our atomistic approach.

The atomistic 3D simulations do not depend so much on experimental assumptions like reported 2D simulations or continuum theories. The 3D computer experiments can even be considered as ’cleanest’ possible experiments for checking continuum theories. This work aims mainly at the methodology of a novel atomistic approach, showing that: (i) In general, sputtering is not the dominant driving force responsible for the ripple formation. Processes like bulk and surface defect kinetics dominate the surface morphology evolution. Only at grazing incidence the sputtering has been found to be a direct cause of the ripple formation. Bradley and Harper theory fails in explaining the ripple dynamics because it is based on the second-order-effect ‘sputtering’. However, taking into account the new mechanisms, a ‘Bradley-Harper equation’ with redefined parameters can be derived, which describes pattern formation satisfactorily. (ii) Kinetics of (bulk) defects has been revealed as the dominating driving force of pattern formation. Constantly created defects within the collision cascade, are responsible for local surface topography fluctuation and cause surface mass currents. The mass currents smooth the surface at normal and close to normal ion incidence angles, while ripples appear first at θ ≥ 40°.

The evolution of bimetallic interfaces under ion irradiation is another application of trider described in this thesis. The collisional mixing is in competition with diffusion and phase separation. The irradiation with He+ ions is studied for two extreme cases of bimetals: (i) Irradiation of interfaces formed by immiscible elements, here Al and Pb. Ballistic interface mixing is accompanied by phase separation. Al and Pb nanoclusters show a self-ordering (banding) parallel to the interface. (ii) Irradiation of interfaces by intermetallics forming species, here Pt and Co. Well-ordered layers of phases of intermetallics appear in the sequence Pt/Pt3Co/PtCo/PtCo3/Co. The trider program package has been proven to be an appropriate technique providing a complete picture of mixing mechanisms.
Keywords: kMC, BCA, TRIM, TRIDYN, TRIDER, self-organization, ripples, IBS, interface mixing, bilayers, bimetals, multilayers
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; HZDR-012 2011
    ISSN: 2191-8716


Publ.-Id: 16657 - Permalink