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3D lattice distortions and defect structures in ion-implanted nano-crystals

Hofmann, F; Tarleton, E; Harder, RJ; Phillips, NW; Ma, P-W; Clark, JN; Robinson, IK; ... Beck, CE; + view all (2017) 3D lattice distortions and defect structures in ion-implanted nano-crystals. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 45993. 10.1038/srep45993. Green open access

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Abstract

Focussed Ion Beam (FIB) milling is a mainstay of nano-scale machining. By manipulating a tightly focussed beam of energetic ions, often gallium (Ga+), FIB can sculpt nanostructures via localised sputtering. This ability to cut solid matter on the nano-scale revolutionised sample preparation across the life, earth and materials sciences. Despite its widespread usage, detailed understanding of the FIB-induced structural damage, intrinsic to the technique, remains elusive. Here we examine the defects caused by FIB in initially pristine objects. Using Bragg Coherent X-ray Diffraction Imaging (BCDI), we are able to spatially-resolve the full lattice strain tensor in FIB-milled gold nano-crystals. We find that every use of FIB causes large lattice distortions. Even very low ion doses, typical of FIB imaging and previously thought negligible, have a dramatic effect. Our results are consistent with a damage microstructure dominated by vacancies, highlighting the importance of free-surfaces in determining which defects are retained. At larger ion fluences, used during FIB-milling, we observe an extended dislocation network that causes stresses far beyond the bulk tensile strength of gold. These observations provide new fundamental insight into the nature of the damage created and the defects that lead to a surprisingly inhomogeneous morphology.

Type: Article
Title: 3D lattice distortions and defect structures in ion-implanted nano-crystals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep45993
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep45993
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555593
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