Temperature-induced evolution of subsurface nanocavities in argon-implanted copper

O. Kurnosikov, D.V. Kulikov, V.S. Kharmalov, H.J.M. Swagten, Yu.V. Trushin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


The evolution of argon-filled nanocavities in a copper crystal under annealing is studied experimentally and theoretically. The subsurface argon-filled nanocavities are formed after a short annealing at a temperature ~1000 K by coalescence of subsurface defects initially created by argon implantation. The further prolonged annealing at a temperature above 1075 K leads to decomposition of the nanocavities and diffusion of implanted argon out of the sample. According to a simple analysis, the mechanism of the nanocavity formation is governed not only by the migration of simplest defects, such as vacancies and argon and copper interstitials, but also to a large extent, by diffusion and interaction of the complexes of these simplest defects. The experimental studies with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy provide valuable data sets of the density of nanocavities and their size and depth distribution. Based on the experimental results, a theoretical model is developed. The calculation with the model proves that the growth of the nanocavities is mainly determined by the temperature-induced migration of vacancy-argon complexes. By combining the experimental data with the simulation results, the migration energy of these kinds of complexes is estimated ~2.55–2.75 eV. Moreover, the calculation with our model provides the estimate of the dissociation energy of a multiple complex, consisting of two vacancies and two argon atoms, as 1.10–1.18 eV. These parameters, reported in this article, play a key role in the description of the kinetics of the growth and decomposition of nanocavities
Original languageEnglish
Article number054109
Pages (from-to)054109-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature-induced evolution of subsurface nanocavities in argon-implanted copper'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this