Modelling electron beam induced dynamics in metallic nanoclusters

D Knez and M Schnedlitz and M Lasserus and A Schiffmann and WE Ernst and F Hofer, ULTRAMICROSCOPY, 192, 69-79 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2018.05.007

We present a computational scheme to simulate beam induced dynamics of atoms in surface dominated, metallic systems. Our approach is based on molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques. The model is tested with clusters comprised of either Ni, Ag or Au. We vary their sizes and apply different electron energies and cluster temperatures to elucidate fundamental relations between these experimental parameters and beam induced displacement probabilities. Furthermore, we demonstrate the capability of our code to simulate beam driven dynamics by using Ag and Au clusters as demonstration systems. Simulations of beam induced displacement and sputtering effects are compared with experimental results obtained via scanning transmission electron microscopy. The clusters in question are synthesised with exceptional purity inside inert superfluid He droplets and deposited on amorphous carbon supports. The presented results may help to understand electron beam driven processes in metallic systems.

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