FE-SEM observations of multiple nanohillocks on SrTiO irradiated with swift heavy ions
Kitamura, Akane; Ishikawa, Norito ; Kondo, Keietsu ; Fujimura, Yuki; Yamamoto, Shunya*; Yamaki, Tetsuya*
Swift heavy ions can create nanosized hillocks on the surfaces of various ceramics. When these materials are irradiated with swift heavy ions at normal incidence, each ion impact results in the formation of a single hillock on the surfaces. In contrast, irradiation at grazing incidence forms chains of multiple hillocks on the surface, for example, for strontium titanate (SrTiO). So far, chains of multiple hillocks have been investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM). It should be noted that AFM measurements involve systematic errors of several nanometers due to the finite size of the probe tip. Consequently, it is possible that the image of one hillock may merge with that of a neighboring hillock even if the two hillocks are well separated. In contrast to AFM, field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) is a useful technique for obtaining higher-resolution images. In this study, we observed multiple nanohillocks on the surfaces of SrTiO using FE-SEM. Crystals of SrTiO(100) and 0.05 wt% Nb-doped SrTiO(100) were irradiated with 350 MeV Xe ions, respectively, at grazing incidence, where the angle between the sample surface and the beam was less than 2. On the SrTiO surface, a chain of periodic nanohillocks is created along the ion path. In contrast, black lines accompanied by hillocks are observed on the Nb-doped SrTiO surface.