Birtcher, R.C and Donnelly, S. E. (1999) Plastic flow produced by single ion impacts on metals. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 148 (1-4). pp. 194-199. ISSN 0168-583X

Single ion impacts have been observed using in situ transmission electron microscopy and video recording with a time resolution of 33 ms. Gold was irradiated at 50 K and room temperature. Single ion impacts produce holes, modify existing holes, and extrude material into the initial specimen hole and holes formed by other ion impacts. The same behavior is observed at both temperatures. At both temperatures, ion impacts result in craters and ejected material. Ion impacts produce more small craters than large ones for all ion masses, while heavier mass ions produce more and larger craters than lighter mass ions. This comparison is affected by the ion energy. As the energy of an ion is increased, the probability for deposition near the surface decreases and fewer craters are formed. For a given ion mass, crater production depends on the probability for displacement cascade production in the near surface region. Craters and holes are stable at room temperature, however, ion impacts near an existing crater may cause flow of material into the crater either reshaping or annihilating it. Holes and craters result from the explosive outflow of material from the molten zone of near-surface cascades. The outflow may take the form of molten material, a solid lid or an ejected particle. The surface is a major perturbation on displacement cascades resulting from ion impacts.

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