Above-surface potential sputtering of protons by highly charged ions
We present a description for potential-energy-induced sputtering of protons by slow, highly charged ions in front of insulator surfaces, based on the classical over-barrier model. Proton emission results from the localized Coulomb explosion after breaking the covalent C-H bond in hydrocarbons at the surface. The model describes the very steep dependence on the projectile charge (∼Q4–Q6) for moderately high charge states (Q≲10), in agreement with the experiment. It furthermore predicts the saturation of the Q dependence for even higher charge states. © 1996 The American Physical Society.