Effect of high energy ion irradiation on silicon substrate in a pulsed plasma device

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We have performed an experimental analysis on the investigation of high energy ion beam irradiation on Si(1 0 0) substrates at room temperature using a low energy plasma focus (PF) device operating in methane gas. The surface modifications induced by the ion beams are characterized using standard surface science diagnostic tools, such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), photothermal beam deflection, energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis and atomic force microscope (AFM) and the results are reported. In particular, it has been found that with silicon targets, the application of PF carbon ion beams results in the formation of a surface layer of hexagonal (6H) silicon carbide, with embedded self-organized step/terrace structures.