Computer simulations of cluster impacts: Effects of the atomic masses of the projectile and target

Oscar A. Restrepo, Xavier Gonze, Patrick Bertrand, Arnaud Delcorte

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Cluster secondary ion mass spectrometry is now widely used for the characterization of nanostructures. In order to gain a better understanding of the physics of keV cluster bombardment of surfaces and nanoparticles (NPs), the effects of the atomic masses of the projectile and of the target on the energy deposition and induced sputtering have been studied by means of molecular dynamics simulations. 10 keV C60 was used as a model projectile and impacts on both a flat polymer surface and a metal NP were analyzed. In the first case, the mass of the impinging carbon atoms was artificially varied and, in the second case, the mass of the NP atoms was varied. The results can be rationalized on the basis of the different atomic mass ratios of the projectile and target. In general, the emission is at its maximum, when the projectile and target have the same atomic masses. In the case of the supported NP, the emission of the underlying organic material increases as the atomic mass of the NP decreases. However, it is always less than that calculated for the bare organic surface, irrespective of the mass ratio. The results obtained with C60 impacts on the flat polymer are also compared to simulations of C60 and monoatomic Ga impacts on the NP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7621-7627
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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