Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Sputtering

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1498-3

Definition

Sputtering is the process in which a solid surface, as of an interstellar dust grain, is eroded by the impact of atoms or ions from the gas phase. Chemical sputtering occurs when the impacting particle has relatively low kinetic energy, chemical bonds are formed between it and the surface, and desorption of a newly formed molecule incorporating surface atoms occurs. Physical sputtering occurs when the impacting particle simply knocks surface atoms into the gas; this process can involve either thermal motion for high temperature gas or nonthermal impact if a solid particle and the gas have high relative velocities. Sputtering of interstellar grains commonly occurs in shocks.

See Also

Keywords

Kinetic Energy Bioorganic Chemistry Chemical Bond Solid Surface Solid Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA