Mechanisms and theory of physical sputtering by particle impact

Peter Sigmund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article summarizes theoretical work on sputtering during the past decade, with the emphasis on elemental sputtering in the linear cascade and spike regimes as well as alloy sputtering. The sputtering of molecules and clusters, and electronic sputtering of insulators and biomolecular materials are discussed more briefly, and topics like charge and excitation states of sputtered particles as well as surface topography are left out, in view of contemporary summary papers in this issue and elsewhere. The paper is nontutorial and assumes some general knowledge of the field on the part of the reader, based e.g. on ref. [1] or ref. [2]. The discussion emphasizes principles and methods as well as open problems rather than quantitative results. A few general recommendations for efficient utilization of computer simulation conclude the paper.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, B
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-20
Publication statusPublished - 2. Jun 1987


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