Low-temperature ion-beam mixing in metals

S. J. Kim, M. A. Nicolet, R. S. Averback, D. Peak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A systematic study of ion-beam mixing of tracer impurities in thin metal films at low temperatures has been conducted. We have investigated the dependence of ion mixing on two matrix properties: atomic mass and cohesive energy. We have also studied the dependence of ion mixing on tracer impurity properties: its heat of mixing with the matrix and its thermal diffusivity in the matrix. The matrices investigated were thin films of C, Al, Ti, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mo, Ru, Ag, Hf, Ta, W, Pt, and Au. The tracer impurities, Al, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Y, Nb, Mo, Ru, Ag, In, Sb, Hf, Ta, W, Pt, Au, and Bi, were deposited as 15 A layers near the midplanes of the specimens. All the tracer and matrix elements, except C, were deposited sequentially, without breaking vacuum. The samples were irradiated with 300 1000-keV Kr ions to doses 1015 1016 ions/cm2 at temperatures of 6 and/or 77 K. Most samples were analyzed at the irradiation temperature by He backscattering. A strong correlation between ion mixing and the matrix properties, atomic mass, and cohesive energy, was observed. A correlation between ion mixing and tracer impurity diffusion was also observed but not between ion mixing and the heat of mixing or relative mass of the impurity with the matrix. The results are interpreted within the framework of a thermal spike model of cascade diffusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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