Transmission sputtering of gold thin films by low-energy (<1 keV) xenon ions. I. the system and the measurement

Guy Ayrault*, David N. Seidman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A novel system for direct measurement of the transmission-sputtering yields of ion-irradiated thin films is described. The system was specifically designed for the study of the transmission sputtering caused by low-energy (<1 keV) xenon ions. The xenon ion beam employed is first mass-analyzed in a specially constructed corssed magnetic- and electric-field mass spectrometer; this analyzer eliminates all energetic neutral and singly charged ions of mass less than 40 amu; it is also expected that ≤2% of the xenon ions which actually reach a specimen are doubly charged. The analyzed xenon ion beam is made to impinge on a gold thin film (∼100-500 Å thick) which is mounted in a JEM 200 transmission electron-microscope holder. The temperature of the specimen can be varied between ∼25 and 300 K employing a continuous transfer liquid-helium cryostat. The particles (atoms or ions) ejected from the unirradiated surface of the gold thin film are detected by two channeltron electron-multiplier arrays (CEMA) in the Chevron configuration; the Chevron detector is able to detect individual transmission-sputtered particles when operated in the saturated mode. To further enhance resolution, the electron cascades (produced by the CEMA), are amplified and shaped electronically into uniform square pulses. The shaped signals are detected with an Ithaco 391A lock-in amplifier (LIA). With the aid of a ratiometer feature in the LIA, we are able to measure directly the ratio of the transmission-sputtered current I t to the incident ion current Ib; for Ibn=1 μA cm-2, a ratio of It/Ib as small as 1×10-9 has been measured. A detailed discussion of the calibration procedure and the experimental errors, involved in this technique, are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6968-6978
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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