Quantum ricochets: surface capture, release and energy loss of fast ions hitting a polar surface at grazing incidence
Lucas, A. A.
Echenique Landiribar, Pedro Miguel
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New Journal of Physics 1 : (2014) // Article ID 063015
A diffraction mechanism is proposed for the capture, multiple bouncing and final escape of a fast ion (keV) impinging on the surface of a polarizable material at grazing incidence. Capture and escape are effected by elastic quantum diffraction consisting of the exchange of a parallel surface wave vector G= 2p/ a between the ion parallel momentum and the surface periodic potential of period a. Diffraction- assisted capture becomes possible for glancing angles F smaller than a critical value given by Fc 2- 2./ a-| Vim|/ E, where E is the kinetic energy of the ion,. = h/ Mv its de Broglie wavelength and Vim its average electronic image potential at the distance from the surface where diffraction takes place. For F< Fc, the ion can fall into a selected capture state in the quasi- continuous spectrum of its image potential and execute one or several ricochets before being released by the time reversed diffraction process. The capture, ricochet and escape are accompanied by a large, periodic energy loss of several tens of eV in the forward motion caused by the coherent emission of a giant number of quanta h. of Fuchs- Kliewer surface phonons characteristic of the polar material. An analytical calculation of the energy loss spectrum, based on the proposed diffraction process and using a model ion-phonon coupling developed earlier (Lucas et al 2013 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 25 355009), is presented, which fully explains the experimental spectrum of Villette et al (2000 Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 3137) for Ne+ ions ricocheting on a LiF(001) surface.