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Comparison of silicon potentials for cluster bombardment simulations

Journal article
Authors J. Samela
K. Nordlund
J. Keinonen
Vladimir Popok
Published in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Volume 255
Issue 1
Pages 253-258
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 253-258
Language en
Keywords cluster implantation, silicon, molecular dynamics
Subject categories Low energy physics, Condensed Matter Physics


We have compared three common silicon potentials for molecular dynamics simulations of cluster bombardment of silicon structures. The potentials tested are Stillinger–Weber, Tersoff III and EDIP. We have also tested one variation of Stillinger–Weber and a variation of Tersoff III potential to see how small modifications of parameter values affect collision cascade and crater geometries. Single ion sputtering yields are compared to experimental values. In simulations, Si(1 1 1) surfaces are bombarded with 1–60 keV Ar12 clusters. The potentials give almost similar overall description of collision cascades at different energies. However, measurable quantities like sputtering yields and crater sizes vary considerably between potentials and even between different parametrisations of the same potential.

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