Donnelly, S. E., Vishnyakov, Vladimir, Taylor, D., Valizadeh, R., Ballard, I.M. and Goddard, D.T. (1994) An STM study of the development of surface features on gold under low-energy helium ion bombardment. Applied Surface Science, 74 (1). pp. 81-90. ISSN 0169-4332

The development of small-scale surface topography on initially atomically flat gold surfaces under irradiation with 3 keV helium ions has been investigated using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). The study has revealed surface features that appear to result from the underlying defect morphology in the implanted metal rather than from sputter-erosion processes occurring at the surface. These features are stable at room temperature. Smaller, sub-monolayer height “bumps” have also been observed under some conditions. It is postulated that these features may be an electronic rather than an elastic effect.