Sputtering and Desorption from Icy Surfaces

  • R. E. Johnson
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 227)


The data from the Pioneer and Voyager missions, the improvements in ground-based observations, and the recent Hubble Space Telescope observations have revolutionized our understanding of the outer solar system. Quite remarkably, a new area of physics has evolved based on the exploration of the outer solar system, the study of the sputtering of surfaces composed of low- temperature condensed gases. Sputtering of such materials is of interest because most of the small, icy objects in the outer solar system are exposed to a plasma (the solar plasma, a planetary magnetospheric plasma, or a local pick-up ion plasma) and the plasma bombardment leads to the efficient ejection of material from such surfaces (e.g. Johnson 1990, 1996)


Excitation Density Galilean Satellite Outer Solar System Average Binding Energy Solid Nitrogen 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering PhysicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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