Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Sosolik, Chad E.

Committee Member

Harrell , William R.

Committee Member

Manson , Joseph R.

Committee Member

Tritt , Terry M.


The energy and charge transfer dynamics for low and hyperthermal energy (10 eV to 2 keV) alkali and noble gas ions impacting noble metals as a function of incident energy, species and scattering geometry has been studied. The experiments were performed in an ultra-high vacuum scattering chamber attached to a low and hyperthermal energy beamline.
The energy transfer was measured for K+ scattered from a Ag(001) surface along the [110] crystalline direction at a fixed laboratory angle of 90°. It was found that as the incident energy is reduced from 100 to 10 eV, the normalized scattered energy increased. Previous measurements have shown a decrease in the normalized energy as the incident ion energy is reduced due to an attractive image force. Trajectory analysis of the data using a classical scattering simulation revealed that instead of undergoing sequential binary collisions as in previous studies, the ion scatters from two surface atoms simultaneously leading to an increased normalized energy.

Additionally, charge transfer measurements have been performed for Na+ scattering from Ag(001) along the [110] crystalline direction at a fixed laboratory angle of 70°. It was found that over the range of energies used (10 eV to 2 keV), the neutralization probability of the scattered ions varied from ~30% to ~70% depending on the incident velocity, consistent with resonant charge transfer. A fully quantum mechanical model that treats electrons independently accurately reproduces the observed data.
Measurements of electron-hole pair excitations were used to explore the pathways which a solid uses to dissipate the energy imparted by the incident ion beam. Ultrathin film (10 nm) metal-oxide-semiconductor (Au/SiO2 /n-Si) devices were used to detect the electron-hole pairs for cases when the ion deposited all of its translational energy into the solid. The incident ions were incident at an angle normal to the surface of the device to maximize energy deposition and consequently electron-hole pair production. The rectifying metal-oxide-semiconductor device separates the electrons from the holes, allowing a current associated with electron-hole pair production to be measured. In these experiments a number of ion species (He,+ , Li+ , Ar+ , K+ ) were made incident on multiple devices and the incident energy ranged from 100 eV to 2 keV. It was found that electron-hole pair production increased with incident ion velocity consistent with a kinetic electron excitation model where the electrons in the metal are partially confined to the surface.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.