Ripple coarsening on ion beam-eroded surfaces
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:439 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-439Published: 27 August 2014
The temporal evolution of ripple pattern on Ge, Si, Al2O3, and SiO2 by low-energy ion beam erosion with Xe+ ions is studied. The experiments focus on the ripple dynamics in a fluence range from 1.1 ? 1017 cm?2 to 1.3 ? 1019 cm?2 at ion incidence angles of 65? and 75? and ion energies of 600 and 1.200 eV. At low fluences a short-wavelength ripple structure emerges on the surface that is superimposed and later on dominated by long wavelength structures for increasing fluences. The coarsening of short wavelength ripples depends on the material system and angle of incidence. These observations are associated with the influence of reflected primary ions and gradient-dependent sputtering. The investigations reveal that coarsening of the pattern is a universal behavior for all investigated materials, just at the earliest accessible stage of surface evolution.