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On the stabilization of ion sputtered surfaces Benny Davidovitch,1,2 Michael J. Aziz,1 and Michael P. Brenner1
 

Summary: On the stabilization of ion sputtered surfaces
Benny Davidovitch,1,2 Michael J. Aziz,1 and Michael P. Brenner1
1Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
2Physics Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002, USA
Received 23 May 2007; published 15 November 2007
The classical theory of ion beam sputtering predicts the instability of a flat surface to uniform ion irradiation
at any incidence angle. We relax the assumption of the classical theory that the average surface erosion rate is
determined by a Gaussian response function representing the effect of the collision cascade, and consider the
surface dynamics for other physically motivated response functions. We show that although instability of flat
surfaces at any beam angle results from all Gaussian and a wide class of non-Gaussian erosive response
functions, there exist classes of modifications to the response that can have a dramatic effect. In contrast to the
classical theory, these types of response render the flat surface linearly stable, while imperceptibly modifying
the predicted sputter yield vs incidence angle. We discuss the possibility that such corrections underlie recent
reports of a "window of stability" of ion-bombarded surfaces at a range of beam angles for certain ion and
surface types, and describe some characteristic aspects of pattern evolution near the transition from unstable to
stable dynamics. We point out that careful analysis of the transition regime may provide valuable tests for the
consistency of any theory of pattern formation on ion sputtered surfaces.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.76.205420 PACS number s : 68.49.Sf, 81.65.Cf, 81.16.Rf
I. INTRODUCTION
Uniform ion beam sputter erosion of a solid surface often

  

Source: Aziz, Michael J.- School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

 

Collections: Physics; Materials Science