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Ion beam-generated surface ripples: new insight in the underlying mechanism

Tanuj Kumar1*, Ashish Kumar12, Dinesh Chander Agarwal1, Nirnajan Prasad Lalla3 and Dinakar Kanjilal1

Author Affiliations

1 Inter-University Accelerator Centre, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, 110067, India

2 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Hauz-Khas, New Delhi, 110016, India

3 UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, University Campus, Khandwa Road, Indore, 452017, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:336  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-336

Published: 26 July 2013


A new hydrodynamic mechanism is proposed for the ion beam-induced surface patterning on solid surfaces. Unlike the standard mechanisms based on the ion beam impact-generated erosion and mass redistribution at the free surface (proposed by Bradley-Harper and its extended theories), the new mechanism proposes that the incompressible solid flow in amorphous layer leads to the formation of ripple patterns at the amorphous-crystalline (a/c) interface and hence at the free surface. Ion beam-stimulated solid flow inside the amorphous layer probably controls the wavelength, whereas the amount of material transported and re-deposited at a/c interface control the amplitude of ripples.