Sputtering of material from the surface of PuO2 crystals by collision cascades impact. A molecular dynamics study

KA Nekrasov and DD Seitov and AA Pomosova and AY Kupryazhkin and SK Gupta and AB Usseinov, NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION B-BEAM INTERACTIONS WITH MATERIALS AND ATOMS, 475, 39-43 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.nimb.2020.04.034

The release of clusters from the surface of PuO2 nanocrystals caused by the alpha decay collision cascades was simulated using the molecular dynamics. The clusters containing up to several hundred particles were recorded. The obtained size distributions of the clusters were characterized by relatively high probabilities of the formation of large clusters. The total kinetic energy of the released material reached tens of percent of the total energy of the collision cascade. Single ions, both plutonium and oxygen, could have kinetic energies of up to several thousand electron-volts. The electric charge of the clusters in most cases was close to zero, although clusters with significant negative charges were also observed.

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