Investigation of the projectile atomic number influence to the total sputtering yield in the keV energy region
The non-monotonous dependence of the total sputtering yield on the projectile atomic number, which is unexpected in the frame of the Sigmund linear cascade theory, is investigated using Monte Carlo simulations (program SRIM 2003). This effect is studied on the example of aluminum sputtering by six different projectiles (N, Ne, Al, Ar, Kr and Xe) at normal incidence. The incident projectile energy is 2 keV. Investigation consists of the analyses of ASI distributions of sputtered atoms as well as of nuclear energy loss depth distributions of projectiles with fixed number of ejected atoms. The results show that the non-monotonous behavior of Y(Z) is due to the ability of projectiles somewhat lighter than aluminum to efficiently eject large number of atoms by formation of collision cascades in the subsurface region which are directed towards the surface. On the other hand, ions that are heavier or significantly lighter than aluminum cannot form this type of cascades - the heavier ions cann...ot transfer a lot of energy to recoils in a primary knock-on collision that will move towards the surface, while significantly lighter ions transfer the energy too deep into the target. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.