Defect production in collision cascades in elemental semiconductors and fcc metals

K. Nordlund, M. Ghaly, R. Averback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comparative molecular dynamics simulation study of collision cascades in two elemental semiconductors and five fcc metals is performed to elucidate how different material characteristics affect primary defect production during ion irradiation. By using simulations of full 400 eV-10 keV collision cascades and contrasting the results on different materials with each other, we probe the effect of the mass, melting temperature, material strength, and crystal structure on the modification of the material due to the cascade. The results show that the crystal structure has a strong effect on many aspects of damage production, while other material characteristics are of lesser overall importance. In all materials studied, isolated point defects produced by the cascade are predominantly interstitials. In semiconductors, amorphous clusters are produced in the cascade core, whereas in metals most of the crystal regenerates, leaving only small vacancy-rich clusters. Large interstitial clusters found in a few events in the heavy metals were observed to form by the isolation of a high-density liquid zone during the recrystallization phase of a cascade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7556-7570
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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