Formation of nanospikes on AISI 420 martensitic stainless steel under gallium ion bombardment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg


The focused ion beam (FIB) has proven to be an extremely powerful tool for the nanometer-scale machining and patterning of nanostructures. In this work, we experimentally study the behavior of AISI 420 martensitic stainless steel when bombarded by Ga+ ions in a FIB system. The results show the formation of nanometer sized spiky structures. Utilizing the nanospiking effect, we fabricated a single-tip needle with a measured 15.15 nanometer curvature radius and a microneedle with a nanometer sized spiky surface. The nanospikes can be made straight or angled, depending on the incident angle between the sample and the beam. We also show that the nanospiking effect is present in ferritic AISI 430 stainless steel. The weak occurrence of the nanospiking effect in between nano-rough regions (nano-cliffs) was also witnessed for austenitic AISI 316 and martensitic AISI 431 stainless steel samples.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1492
Number of pages9
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Bombardment, Focused ion beam, Gallium, Incident angle, Irradiation effects, Martensite, Nanospikes, Sharp needle, Stainless steel

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