Unraveling atomic-level self-organization at the plasma-material interface

J. P. Allain, A. Shetty

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

Abstract

The intrinsic dynamic interactions at the plasma-material interface and critical role of irradiation-driven mechanisms at the atomic scale during exposure to energetic particles require a priori the use of in situ surface characterization techniques. Characterization of 'active' surfaces during modification at atomic-scale levels is becoming more important as advances in processing modalities are limited by an understanding of the behavior of these surfaces under realistic environmental conditions. Self-organization from exposure to non-equilibrium and thermalized plasmas enable dramatic control of surface morphology, topography, composition, chemistry and structure yielding the ability to tune material properties with an unprecedented level of control. Deciphering self-organization mechanisms of nanoscale morphology (e.g. nanodots, ripples) and composition on a variety of materials including: compound semiconductors, semiconductors, ceramics, polymers and polycrystalline metals via low-energy ion-beam assisted plasma irradiation are critical to manipulate functionality in nanostructured systems. By operating at ultra-low energies near the damage threshold, irradiation-driven defect engineering can be optimized and surface-driven mechanisms controlled. Tunability of optical, electronic, magnetic and bioactive properties is realized by reaching metastable phases controlled by atomic-scale irradiation-driven mechanisms elucidated by novel in situ diagnosis coupled to atomistic-level computational tools. Emphasis will be made on tailored surface modification from plasma-enhanced environments on particle-surface interactions and their subsequent modification of hard and soft matter interfaces. In this review, we examine current trends towards in situ and in operando surface and sub-surface characterization to unravel atomic-scale mechanisms at the plasma-material interface. This work will emphasize on recent advances in the field of plasma and ion-induced nanopatterning and nanostructuring as well as ultra-thin film deposition. Future outlook will examine the critical role of complementary surface-sensitive techniques and trends towards advances in both in situ and in operando tooling.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number283002
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume50
Issue number28
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 28 2017

Fingerprint

Plasmas
Irradiation
irradiation
Beam plasma interactions
Surface treatment
Semiconductor materials
Chemical analysis
trends
energy
Metastable phases
Ultrathin films
Topography
Ion beams
Surface morphology
Materials properties
Polymers
Metals
Ions
Defects
Processing

Keywords

  • fusion plasma
  • in situ surface characterization
  • ion-induced nanopatterning
  • nanoscale morphology
  • plasma-material interface
  • self-organized nanostructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

Cite this

Unraveling atomic-level self-organization at the plasma-material interface. / Allain, J. P.; Shetty, A.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 50, No. 28, 283002, 28.06.2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

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