Void formation in amorphous germanium due to high electronic energy deposition

K. Gärtner, J. Jöhrens, T. Steinbach*, C. S. Schnohr, M. C. Ridgway, W. Wesch

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    The effect of high electronic energy deposition in amorphous germanium has been studied experimentally by Au irradiation with ion energies of up to 185 MeV and different angles of incidence and by molecular dynamics computer simulations. In both cases, the energy deposition leads to void formation accompanied by strong swelling of the amorphous germanium. The simulation results prove that the formation of the voids is mainly based on a shock wave mechanism and the swelling is determined by the competing processes of the formation and growth of voids on the one hand and the shrinking and annihilation of voids on the other hand. In full agreement between experiment and simulation, the amount of the swelling is a linear function of the total energy deposited into electronic processes and there exists a threshold value of the electronic energy loss per ion and depth for swelling. A comparison of the threshold values obtained by the experiment and the simulation suggests that approximately 20% of the energy deposited into electronic processes is converted into atomic motion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number224106
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2011


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