About Materials Science
The passage of an energetic heavy ion in materials creates a highly dense, nanometer-sized cylindrical zone of intense electronic excitation along the ion trajectory on a picosecond time-scale. Large electronic energy density deposition may result in Coulomb repulsion-induced explosion and/or a transient temperature spike. This unique feature of swift heavy ions has been widely used in materials engineering and characterization and is the key area of materials science research at IUAC
Energetic ions play a vital role in Materials Science as they can produce systems away from the thermodynamic equilibrium. The ions in different energy regimes, ranging from a few hundreds of eV to a few hundreds of MeV have different roles in materials modifications.
Broadly, the energetic ions are useful in following ways:
- Synthesis of materials,
- Modification of materials, and
- Characterization of materials.
Defect engineering in materials is an important aspect for devices fabrication. The two parameters of ion beam, which play crucial role in defect engineering are: (i) the ion mass and (ii) its energy, which decide the magnitudes of the electronic energy loss (dE/dxelce=Se) as well as nuclear energy loss (dE/dxnucl=Sn). The other interesting aspect of swift heavy ions is the characterization of materials by elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA). Modification of materials properties mainly with the use of energetic heavy ions, and elemental analysis capability are available at the IUAC, providing unique opportunities to Materials Scientists and Physicists across the globe to come and do the research using energetic ions.