Ion-nanostructure interaction : comparing simulation and experiment towards surface structuring using nanoparticles
Nanotechnology is a buzzword in context of the proceeding miniaturization of devices and their components. Nanoparticles (NPs) can nowadays easily be synthesized from different material compositions by different chemical and physical processes. However, most of these techniques work close to or at the thermal equilibrium. One subsequent approach to tune materials beyond equilibrium conditions is ion beam irradiation. An important effect of this approach is sputtering. Sputtering is enhanced in NPs compared to their bulk counterparts due to their large surface-to-volume ratio, especially when the ion range matches the NP size. In this work, the sputtering effects of Ar+ and Ga+ ion irradiated Au nanoparticles are investigated in detail by Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and a variety of experiments. The sputtering of Ar+ and Ga+ irradiated Au NPs was investigated as a function of ion energy, NP size and impact parameter by the MC code iradina and MD code parcas. The simulation results are directly compared to experiments using high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of Au NPs on top of Si, whereat the sputter yields are significantly enhanced compared to the MC simulations. Additionally, the interaction of NPs and substrate were investigated by Rutherford backscatter spectrometry (RBS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). A new MC code was developed to study the redeposition of sputtered atoms of Ga+ irradiated Au NP arrays on neighboring NPs. The redeposition can lead to growth of NPs with diameters of 1 nm in vicinity of ~50 nm NP. These simulations are directly compared to an in situ experiment. Nanostructures, spherical NPs as well as nanowires (NWs) are used as irradiation masks to structure lithium niobate (LNO) using the ion beam enhanced etching (IBEE) technique. The aspect ratio of the obtained structures can be enhanced by a second IBEE step after annealing.