Model of wet chemical etching of swift heavy ions tracks

SA Gorbunov and AI Malakhov and RA Rymzhanov and AE Volkov, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS, 50, 395306 (2017).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/aa8153

A model of wet chemical etching of tracks of swift heavy ions (SHI) decelerated in solids in the electronic stopping regime is presented. This model takes into account both possible etching modes: etching controlled by diffusion of etchant molecules to the etching front, and etching controlled by the rate of a reaction of an etchant with a material. Olivine ((Mg0.88Fe0.12)(2)SiO4) crystals were chosen as a system for modeling. Two mechanisms of chemical activation of olivine around the SHI trajectory are considered. The first mechanism is activation stimulated by structural transformations in a nanometric track core, while the second one results from neutralization of metallic atoms by generated electrons spreading over micrometric distances. Monte-Carlo simulations (TREKIS code) form the basis for the description of excitations of the electronic subsystem and the lattice of olivine in an SHI track at times up to 100 fs after the projectile passage. Molecular dynamics supplies the initial conditions for modeling of lattice relaxation for longer times. These simulations enable us to estimate the effects of the chemical activation of olivine governed by both mechanisms. The developed model was applied to describe chemical activation and the etching kinetics of tracks of Au 2.1 GeV ions in olivine. The estimated lengthwise etching rate (38 mu m . h(-1)) is in reasonable agreement with that detected in the experiments (24 mu m . h(-1)).

Return to Publications page