Low energy ion bombardment is an established technique for the cleaning, processing and analysis of the surfaces of solids, yet the ion bombardment of these materials does not always produce a flat uniform surface required for many applications. A variety of ion-induced topographies are frequently observed. Rocking and rotation of the sample can reduce unwanted topography by averaging out the angle of incidence effect which is an important factor in the production of surface artefacts. This paper presents a theory which enables a simulation of the development of surfaces in two and three dimensions under the conditions of changes in the surface-beam orientation. It is shown how the discontinuities in surface gradient which occur with inert gas ion bombardment of static samples and are manifested by cones, pyramids and facets can be suppressed by sample rotations and some computer simulations are presented to illustrate this effect.
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Tagg, M.A., Smith, R. & Walls, J.M. Sample rocking and rotation in ion beam etching. J Mater Sci 21, 123–130 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01144709
- Uniform Surface
- Established Technique
- Surface Gradient
- Incidence Effect