Damage buildup in Ar-ion-irradiated 3C-SiC at elevated temperatures
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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Above room temperature, the accumulation of radiation damage in 3C-SiC is strongly influenced by dynamic defect interaction processes and remains poorly understood. Here, we use a combination of ion channeling and transmission electron microscopy to study lattice disorder in 3C-SiC irradiated with 500 keV Ar ions in the temperature range of 25-250 °C. Results reveal sigmoidal damage buildup for all the temperatures studied. For 150 °C and below, the damage level monotonically increases with ion dose up to amorphization. Starting at 200 °C, the shape of damage-depth profiles becomes anomalous, with the damage peak narrowing and moving to larger depths and an additional shoulder forming close to the ion end of range. As a result, damage buildup curves for 200 and 250 °C exhibit an anomalous two-step shape, with a damage saturation stage followed by rapid amorphization above a critical ion dose, suggesting a nucleation-limited amorphization behavior. Despite their complexity, all damage buildup curves are well described by a phenomenological model based on an assumption of a linear dependence of the effective amorphization cross section on ion dose. In contrast to the results of previous studies, 3C-SiC can be amorphized by bombardment with 500 keV Ar ions even at 250 °C with a relatively large dose rate of ∼2×1013 cm-2 s-1, revealing a dominant role of defect interaction dynamics at elevated temperatures.
author list (cited authors)
Wallace, J. B., Aji, L., Li, T. T., Shao, L., & Kucheyev, S. O.