Dissertation: Beyond scattering – what more can be learned from pulsed keV ion beams?

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Polhelmsalen and via Zoom
  • Doctoral student: Svenja Lohmann
  • Contact person: Svenja Lohmann
  • Disputation

Svenja Lohmann defends her doctoral thesis. Opponent: Prof. Andreas Wucher, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Supervisor: Daniel Primetzhofer, Applied Nuclear Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy. The defence is held in English.

Interactions of energetic ions with matter govern processes as diverse as the influence of solar wind, hadron therapy for cancer treatment and plasma-wall interactions in fusion devices, and are used for controlled manipulation of materials properties as well as analytical methods. The scattering of ions from target nuclei and electrons does not only lead to energy deposition, but can induce the emission of different secondary particles including electrons, photons, sputtered target ions and neutrals as well as nuclear reaction products. In the medium-energy regime (ion energies between several ten to a few hundred keV), ions are expected to primarily interact with valence electrons. Dynamic electronic excitations are, however, not understood in full detail, and remain an active field of experimental and theoretical research. In addition, whereas scattered ions are employed for high-resolution depth profiling in medium energy ion scattering (MEIS), research on secondary particle emission in this regime is scarce.

This thesis explores possibilities to experimentally study ion-solid interactions in the medium-energy regime beyond a backscattering approach. The capability for detection of electrons, photons and sputtered ions was integrated into the time-of-flight (ToF-) MEIS set-up at Uppsala University. Additionally, transmission of ions in combination with crystalline samples was employed to study impact-parameter dependent electronic excitations. In all cases, the use of pulsed ion beams with nanosecond pulse widths proves to be imperative for achieving energy measurements with sufficient resolution as well as low doses for non-destructive interactions even with sensitive samples.

Trajectory-dependent energy loss of various ions in Si(100) was studied. For all ions heavier than protons, experimental evidence shows that, if close collisions are not suppressed by channelling, consequent charge-exchange events increase the mean charge state of the ion and heavily influence the experienced energy loss. Furthermore, measurements of electron emission are presented. For medium-energy ions, electrons emitted in forward direction from carbon foils exhibit energies between 10 and 400 eV. Scaling with ion velocity indicates binary collisions as the primary energy transfer mechanism. Detected photons also have energies of a few eV, i.e. on the order of typical valence transitions in solids. For photon emission, pronounced chemical matrix effects are observed. Finally, the sputtering process at medium energies was studied. Target bulk constituents exhibit similar behaviour as known from established methods at lower energies, i.e. sputtering by nuclear collision cascades. In contrast, the desorption of surface species seems to be governed by electronic energy transfer mechanisms.

The details of the Zoom meeting are:


Meeting ID: 636 6218 0736
Password: 773751