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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Molybdenum and carbon atom and carbon cluster sputtering under low-energy noble gas plasma

  • Author(s): Oyarzabal, Eider
  • et al.

Exit-angle resolved Mo atom sputtering yield under Xe ion bombardment and carbon atom and cluster (C₂ and C₃) sputtering yields under Xe, Kr, Ar, Ne and He ion bombardment from a plasma are measured for low incident energies (75 -225 eV). An energy-resolved quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) is used to detect the fraction of un- scattered sputtered neutrals that become ionized in the plasma; the angular distribution is obtained by changing the angle between the target and the QMS aperture. A one- dimensional Monte Carlo code is used to simulate the interaction of the plasma and the sputtered particles between the sample and the QMS. The elastic scattering cross-sections of C, C₂ and C₃ with the different bombarding gas neutrals is obtained by varying the distance between the sample and the QMS and by performing a best fit of the simulation results to the experimental results. Because the results obtained with the QMS are relative, the Mo atom sputtering results are normalized to the existing data in the literature and the total sputtering yield for carbon (C+C₂+C₃) for each bombarding gas is obtained from weight loss measurements. The absolute sputtering yield for C, C₂ and C₃ is then calculated from the integration of the measured angular distribution, taking into account the scattering and ionization of the sputtered particles between the sample and the QMS. The angular sputtering distribution for Mo has a maximum at [theta]=60⁰, and this maximum becomes less pronounced as the incident ion energy increases. The results of the Monte Carlo TRIDYN code simulation for the angular distribution of Mo atoms sputtered by Xe bombardment are in agreement with the experiments. For carbon sputtering under-cosine angular distributions of the sputtered atoms and clusters for all the studied bombarding gases are also observed. The C, C₂ and C₃ sputtering yield data shows a clear decrease of the atom to cluster (C/C₂ and C/C₃) sputtering ratio as the incident ion mass increases, changing from a carbon atom preferential erosion for the lower incident ion masses (He, Ne and Ar) to a cluster preferential erosion for the higher incident ion masses (Kr and Xe)

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