Persistent Sputtering Yield Reduction in Plasma-Infused Foams

TitlePersistent Sputtering Yield Reduction in Plasma-Infused Foams
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLi, Gary Z., and Richard E. Wirz
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume126
Issue3
Start Page035001
Date Published01/2021
AbstractAluminum microfoams are found to exhibit persistent sputtering yield reductions of 40%–80% compared to a flat aluminum surface under 100 to 300 eV argon plasma bombardment. An analytical model reveals a strong dependency of the yield on the foam geometry and plasma sheath. For foam pore sizes near or larger than the sheath thickness, the plasma infuses the foam and transitions the plasma-surface interactions from superficial to volumetric phenomena. By defining a plasma infusion parameter, the sputtering behavior of foams is shown to be separated into the plasma-facing and plasma-infused regimes. While plasma infusion leads to a larger effective sputtering area, geometric recapture of ejected particles facilitates an overall reduction in yield. For a given level of plasma infusion, the reductions in normalized yield are more pronounced at lower ion energies since angular sputtering effects enable more effective geometric recapture of sputterants.

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