Applied Surface Science, Vol.157, No.1-2, 23-28, 2000
Effect of sputtering gas on the surface composition of an Al-Pd-Mn quasicrystal
We demonstrate the effects of different inert sputtering gases on the surface composition of icosahedral (i-) Al-Pd-Mn. The sputtering gases used include He, Ne, Ar, Xe, and Kr. We demonstrate that the steady-state composition is independent of the inert gas chosen. This steady-state composition falls outside of the quasicrystalline region of the Al-Pd-Mn phase diagram. However, the fluence (ions/cm(2)) to achieve steady-state depends on the inert gas. Helium requires a much higher fluence than the other gases. Because of this, He can be used to clean the surface, if the time (fluence) for sputtering is kept to a minimum, without causing the large compositional shift induced with a relatively small fluence by the most common sputtering gas, Ar.