Report

Shocks in Ion Sputtering Sharpen Steep Surface Features

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5746, pp. 294-297
DOI: 10.1126/science.1117219

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

We report a regime of ion beam sputtering that occurs for sufficiently steep slopes. High slopes propagate over large distances without dissipating the steepest features. Both the propagation velocity and the dynamically selected slope are universal, independent of the details of the initial shape of the surface. The resulting behavior can be understood as the propagation of a shock front that self-selects a stable slope, as has been previously observed in thin-film fluid flows. Experiments confirm predictions of the theory. An important implication of the propagative behavior at high surface slopes is that a pattern can be fabricated at a large length scale and, through uniform ion irradiation, reduced to a smaller length scale while preserving, or even sharpening, the sharpest features.

    View Full Text