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Kinetics of Surface Roughening and Smoothing During Ion Sputtering

  • E. Chason (a1), T. M. Mayer (a1) and A. J. Howard (a1)

Abstract

We have measured the kinetics of roughness evolution during low energy ion sputtering of SiO2 surfaces using in situ X-ray reflectivity. Sputtering with heavy ions (Xe) leads to rapid roughening of the surface that can not be explained by a simple random removal process. Subsequent bombardment with light ions (He, H) leads to an exponential decrease in the surface roughness. These kinetics are explained quantitatively by a linear model that contains a balance between smoothing by surface diffusion and viscous flow and roughening by sputter removal of Material. A curvature dependent sputter yield leads to amplification of a limited range of spatial frequencies on the surface and the formation of a ripple topography.

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Kinetics of Surface Roughening and Smoothing During Ion Sputtering

  • E. Chason (a1), T. M. Mayer (a1) and A. J. Howard (a1)

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