We study the time evolution of the surface composition and the atomic sputter yields when a multicomponent alloy is bombarded with a broad ion beam. For a binary or a ternary alloy, the sputter yields approach steady-state values exponentially with time if the sputter yield of each atomic species is proportional to its surface concentration. There may be two distinct stable steady-state solutions to the equations of motion for the sputtering of a binary alloy if the sputter yield of one of the atomic species is amplified. In the case of a ternary alloy, we give a hypothetical example that satisfies the minimal physical requirements and that yields long-lived oscillations in the sputter yields of the three atomic species.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| July 16 2013
Can the atomic yields oscillate during ion sputtering of an initially homogeneous multicomponent alloy?
R. Mark Bradley;
R. Mark Bradley, Kelly W. Mauser; Can the atomic yields oscillate during ion sputtering of an initially homogeneous multicomponent alloy?. J. Appl. Phys. 21 July 2013; 114 (3): 033506. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4813520
Download citation file: