In this study, we used a 30 keV argon cluster ion beam bombardment to investigate the dynamic processes during nano-ripple formation on gold surfaces. Atomic force microscope analysis shows that the gold surface has maximum roughness at an incident angle of 60° from the surface normal; moreover, at this angle, and for an applied fluence of 3 × 1016
, the aspect ratio of the nano-ripple pattern is in the range of ~50%. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry analysis reveals a formation of a surface gradient due to prolonged gas cluster ion bombardment, although the surface roughness remains consistent throughout the bombarded surface area. As a result, significant mass redistribution is triggered by gas cluster ion beam bombardment at room temperature. Where mass redistribution is responsible for nano-ripple formation, the surface erosion process refines the formed nano-ripple structures.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited