The present paper provides a brief overview of our current understanding of physical sputtering by charged-particle impact, with the emphasis on sputtering of metals and alloys under bombardment with particles that produce knock-on collisions. Fundamental aspects of ion-solid interactions, and recent developments in the study of sputtering of elemental targets and preferential sputtering in multicomponent materials are reviewed. We concentrate only on a few specific topics of sputter emission, including the various properties of the sputtered flux and depth of origin, and on connections between sputtering and other radiation-induced and -enhanced phenomena that modify the near-surface composition of the target. The synergistic effects of these diverse processes in changing the composition of the integrated sputtered-atom flux is described in simple physical terms, using selected examples of recent important progress.
Lam, Nghi Q.
"Physical Sputtering of Metallic Systems by Charged-Particle Impact,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 1990
, Article 20.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol1990/iss4/20