Skip to main content

The role of electronic energy loss in ion beam modification of materials

Publication Type
Journal Name
Curr. Opin. Solid State Mater. Sci.
Publication Date

Understanding the mechanisms of damage formation in materials irradiated with energetic ions is essential for the field of ion-beam materials modification and engineering. Utilizing incident ions, electrons, photons, and positrons, various analysis techniques, including Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), electron RBS, Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution X-ray diffraction, small-angle X-ray scattering, and positron annihilation spectroscopy, are routinely used or gaining increasing attention in characterizing ion beam modified materials. The distinctive information, recent developments, and some perspectives in these techniques are reviewed. Applications of these techniques are discussed to demonstrate their unique ability for studying ion-solid interactions and the corresponding radiation effects in modified depths ranging from a few nm to a few tens of μm, and to provide information on electronic and atomic structure of the materials, defect configuration and concentration, as well as phase stability, amorphization and recrystallization processes. Such knowledge contributes to our fundamental understanding over a wide range of extreme conditions essential for enhancing material performance and also for design and synthesis of new materials to address a broad variety of future energy applications.