Solar Wind Sputtering of Wollastonite as a Lunar Analogue Material – Comparisons between Experiments and Simulation

1Paul S. Szabo et al. (>10)
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2018.05.028]
1Institute of Applied Physics, TU Wien, Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Copyright Elsevier

The sputtering of wollastonite (CaSiO3) by solar wind-relevant ions has been investigated experimentally and the results are compared to the binary collision approximation (BCA) codes SDTrimSP and SRIM-2013. Absolute sputtering yields are presented for Ar projectiles as a function of ion impact energy, charge state and impact angle as well as for solar wind H projectiles as a function of impact angle. Erosion of wollastonite by singly charged Ar ions is dominated by kinetic sputtering. The absolute magnitude of the sputtering yield and its dependence on the projectile impact angle can be well described by SDTrimSP as long as the actual sample composition is used in the simulation. SRIM-2013 largely overestimates the yield especially at grazing impact angles. For higher Ar charge states, the measured yield is strongly enhanced due to potential sputtering. Sputtering yields under solar wind-relevant H+ bombardment are smaller by two orders of magnitude compared to Ar. Our experimental yields also show a less pronounced angular dependence than predicted by both BCA programs, probably due to H implantation in the sample. Based on our experimental findings and extrapolations to other solar wind ions by using SDTrimSP, we present a model for the complete solar wind sputtering of a flat wollastonite surface as a function of projectile ion impact angle, which predicts a sputtering yield of 1.29 atomic mass units per solar wind ion for normal impact. We find that mostly He and some heavier ions increase the sputtering yield by more than a factor of two as compared to bombardment with only H+ ions.

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