Channeling effects in gold nanoclusters under He ion irradiation: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Researchers

Research units

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Abstract

The interpretation of helium ion microscopy (HIM) images of crystalline metal clusters requires microscopic understanding of the effects of He ion irradiation on the system, including energy deposition and associated heating, as well as channeling patterns. While channeling in bulk metals has been studied at length, there is no quantitative data for small clusters. We carry out molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the behavior of gold nanoparticles with diameters of 5-15 nm under 30 keV He ion irradiation. We show that impacts of the ions can give rise to substantial heating of the clusters through deposition of energy into electronic degrees of freedom, but it does not affect channeling, as clusters cool down between consecutive impact of the ions under typical imaging conditions. At the same time, high temperatures and small cluster sizes should give rise to fast annealing of defects so that the system remains crystalline. Our results show that ion-channeling occurs not only in the principal low-index, but also in the intermediate directions. The strengths of different channels are specified, and their correlations with sputtering-yield and damage production is discussed, along with size-dependence of these properties. The effects of planar defects, such as stacking faults on channeling were also investigated. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for the analysis of HIM images of metal clusters.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number035302
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNanotechnology
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Channeling, Gold nanostructures, Helium ion microscope, Ion irradiation, Sputtering-yield

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