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Highly charged ion interaction with graphene

Wilhelm, R. A.; Gruber, E.; Smejkal, V.; Schwestka, J.; Kozubek, R.; Hierzenberger, A.; Schleberger, M.; Facsko, S.; Aumayr, F.


Studying ion-solid interaction has a long standing tradition both in fundamental research and for technological applications. The main parameter in this respect is the ion stopping force, i.e. the kinetic energy loss per unit length in a solid. The stopping force depends on the kinetic energy of the ions as well as on the degree of ionization [1]. The latter fact is usually disregarded, because after a few nanometers in a solid the ion accommodates an equilibrium charge state independent of it’s initial charge state. Stopping force in charge equilibrium is very well known.
Here we use slow (v ≪ v0) highly charged ions (Q Z) to study stopping force far from charge equilibrium and the charge equilibration dynamics [2,3]. Using novel two-dimensional materials as target material allows us to limit the ion trajectory in the solid with monolayer precision and thus study non-equilibrium effects.
The left side of fig. 1 shows schematically the experimental conditions with an ion beam transmitted under normal incidence through a freestanding single layer graphene sheet. The ion energy and charge state are measured with an electrostatic analyzer. A typical charge state distribution for Xe30+ ions at 40 keV (310 eV/amu) transmitted through graphene is also shown (right). Ions at this low velocity (0.1v0) are not fully neutralized. Hence, they still capture and stabilize about 20 electrons within the collision time of only 1-3 fs. Especially stabilization of the electrons is surprising, since the classical-over-barrier model for charge exchange [4] predicts the population of highly excited states with principal quantum numbers of n > 10 and a subsequent Auger electron cascade. Such a cascade would lead to the reemission of electrons and thus to a recharging of the ion. Present results show the need for a model beyond classical-over-barrier.
This ultrafast charge exchange process is accompanied by a kinetic energy loss of up to ∆E /E ≈ 10 %, which is about 1 order of magnitude larger than predicted by the SRIM code. In this contribution, recent results on charge exchange and energy loss of highly charged ion at low velocities in graphene will be presented. A qualitative description of the processes involved will be given.

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  • Invited lecture (Conferences)
    12th European Conference on Atoms, Molecules and Photons (ECAMP), 05.-09.09.2016, Frankfurt a.M., Deutschland