"Nanostructuring of LiF"

Dr Henning Lebius. CIRIL/GANIL (France)

Image Description:
The tapping mode image (3 x 3 μm2) was taken of a LiF single crystal surface which has been irradiated with fast Xe ions under an incidence angle of 90°. The image was recorded with a DI-3100 from Veeco. The atomically flat terraces are separated by mono- or multiple-atomic steps as can be clearly seen in the image. Then, the sample was exposed to a beam of fast (90 MeV) xenon ions. The ions hit the surface and penetrate further into the crystal. Surprisingly, at the entry point the ions do not leave a crater behind but a hillock of a few nanometres in height. Not much is known yet about the structure of the dots or about the production mechanism. In this energy range the ion introduces most of its energy into the electronic system of the LiF crystal which is then coupled into the atomic system. The dots thus represent the footprints of a highly dynamic process enabling us to study the interaction of energetic ions with matter by means of atomic force microscopy.


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