Birtcher, R. and Donnelly, S. E. (1996) Plastic Flow Induced by Single Ion Impacts on Gold. Physical Review Letters, 77 (21). pp. 4374-4377. ISSN 0031-9007

The formation of holes in thin gold foils as a result of single ion impacts by 200 keV Xe ions has been followed using transmission electron microscopy. Video recording provided details of microstructure evolution with a time resolution of 1/30th sec. Hole formation involves the movement by plastic flow of massive amounts of material, on the order of tens of thousands of Au atoms per ion impact. Plastic flow, as a consequence of individual ion impacts, results in a filling of both holes and craters as well as a thickening of the gold foil. Change in morphology during irradiation is attributed to a localized, thermal-spike induced melting, coupled with plastic flow under the influence of surface forces.

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