17th International Conference on Ion Beam Modification of Materials

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Swift heavy ion induced epitaxial recrystallization in pre-damaged silicon carbide

Abdenacer Benyagoub*

oral presentation: 2010-08-23 10:10 AM – 10:30 AM
Last modified: 2010-06-13


In a recent series of experiments, silicon carbide (SiC) was irradiated separately with low and high energy ions and also successively with both types of ions. Low energy ion irradiations confirmed previous findings that SiC can easily be amorphized by nuclear collisions while high energy ion irradiations did not induce any significant damage even at cryogenic temperatures. More interestingly, sequential irradiations revealed that the damage formed by the low energy ion irradiation can readily be removed by the electronic excitations generated by the swift heavy ions [1].

In this contribution, additional irradiation experiments performed in different conditions will be described and the mechanism leading to this epitaxial recrystallization will be addressed. The results reveal that although this phenomenon bears some resemblance to the well-known IBIEC process, it differs from the latter on some very important points: (i) it occurs at room temperature in contrast to IBIEC which needs elevated temperatures (>570 K); (ii) the amount of the recrystallization rate per incident ion is about 3 orders of magnitude higher than those generally attained with IBIEC. It is found that such a high recrystallization rate cannot be explained by the existing IBIEC models but can be accounted for by a mechanism [2] based on the melting of the amorphous zones through a thermal spike process followed by an epitaxial recrystallization from the neighboring crystalline regions wherever the size of the latter exceeds a certain critical value. This phenomenon provides additional evidence that swift heavy ion irradiations are not confined to damage creation or amorphization and can also lead, besides crystalline-to-crystalline phase transitions [3], to amorphous-to-crystalline phase transformations.


[1]: A. Benyagoub, A. Audren, L. Thomé, and F. Garrido, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 241914 (2006).

[2]: A. Benyagoub and A. Audren, J. Appl. Phys. 106, 083516 (2009).

[3]: A. Benyagoub, Phys. Rev. B 72, 094114 (2005).

Author(s) affiliation:
Abdenacer Benyagoub*, CIMAP (ex-CIRIL-GANIL), CEA-CNRS-ENSICAEN-Université de Caen, France

*presenting author
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