Atomic and Ionic Impact Phenomena on Metal Surfaces

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The collisions of neutral or charged gaseous particles with solid surfaces govern many physical and chemical phenomena, as has been The gas/solid phenomena in turn depend on a recognized for a long time. great variety of processes such as the charge transfer of the gas/solid interface, adsorption and desorption, the energy transfer between an incident particle and the surface, etc. Our knowledge of these processes, however, is only fragmentary. This is partly due to the difficulty in adequately controlling the ex- perimental conditions. Consequently, until recently the data were usually so complex that reliable information about a particular elementary process could not be deduced. Within the last five to ten years, however, the techniques of ultra-high vacuum and surface preparation have developed rapidly and there has been a booming and widespread interest in the role of gas/solid interactions in such diverse fields as plasma physics, thermonuclear reactions, thermionic energy conversion, ion propulsion, sputtering corrosion of the surface of satellites and ion engines, ion getter pumps, deposition of thin films, etc. This led to extensive investigations of numerous gas/solid phenomena, such as surface ionization, sputtering, emission of secondary electrons and ions from surfaces under atom and/or ion impact, ion neutralization, and the thermal accomodation of gaseous particles on surfaces. As a result, it has become possible to gather a variety of valuable information.