Birtcher, R.C. and Donnelly, S. E. (1998) Plastic flow in FCC metals induced by single-ion impacts. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 54 (1-3). pp. 111-115. ISSN 0254-0584

Irradiation of Au and Pb foils with Xe ions at temperatures between 30 and 450 K has been monitored using in situ transmission electron microscopy. Single ion impacts give rise to surface craters on the irradiated surface with sizes as large as 12 nm. Approximately 2%–5% of impinging ions produce craters on Au while only about 0.6% produce craters on Pb. Larger craters on Au frequently have expelled material associated with them. Temporal details of crater formation and annihilation has been recorded on video with a time-resolution of 33 ms. Craters annihilate in discrete steps due to subsequent ion impacts or anneal in a continuous manner due to surface diffusion. Craters production (those persisting for one or more video-frames) as a function of temperature indicates that the surface diffusion process responsible for thermal annealing of craters has an activation energy of 0.76 eV in Au. Crater creation results from plastic flow associated with near surface cascades. Crater annihilation in discrete steps results from plastic flow induced by subsequent ion impacts, including those that do not themselves produce a crater.

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