Complex crater formation on silicon surfaces by low-energy Ar n+ cluster ion implantation

V. N. Popok, S. V. Prasalovich, E. E.B. Campbell

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19 Scopus citations


Silicon samples were implanted by small mass-selected Arn + cluster and Ar+ monomer ions with energies in the range of 1.5-18.0 keV/ion. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows simple and complex crater formation on the Si surface at the collision spots. A typical complex crater is surrounded by a low-height (∼0.5 nm) rim and it encloses a centre-positioned cone-shaped hillock with height of up to 3.5 nm depending on the implantation conditions. The morphology and dimensions of the craters and hillocks are studied as a function of the cluster size and implantation energy. A model explaining the hillock formation with relation to the thermal-transfer effect and local target melting at the collision spot is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1184
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Science
Issue number1-3 PART 2
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2004
EventProceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Surface Science - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 7 Sep 200312 Sep 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Authors acknowledge financial support from The Swedish Research Council under contracts Nos. 621-2002-5387, 629-2002-7526 and from the Göran Gustafsson Foundation for Research in Natural Science and Medicine.


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Clusters
  • Ion implantation
  • Surface structure, morphology, roughness, and topography


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