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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)


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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