Monte Carlo simulations for HET ceramics sputtering yield prediction
The Monte Carlo simulation code for ion sputtering CSiPI was developed for electric propulsion-induced erosion applications. In this paper we present how ceramics erosion can be treated. Indeed, these materials strongly differ from metals for which MC simulations are validated. We show that the target has to be resolved in time and space in order to deal with the target stoechiometry evolutions under ion bombardment. This is treated by the CSiPI2007 version of CSiPI. Then we propose a description for the characteristic binding energies that are opposed to some classical description. Indeed, we consider for ceramics a negligible surface binding energy compared to the bulk binding energy. This description is argued and a methodology is proposed for energies determination from the material atomization energy. This allows to perform the predictive sputtering yield Calculations. The code CSiPI and the proposed protocol for input data determination is validated by comparing simulations with experiments for BN, SiO2 and MgO. A good correlation is observed for normal ion bombardment by Xe+ ions in the 350-1000 eV range. For grazing incidence, experimental measurements depend strongly on the target roughness, then results are not directly comparable. At last, we present an estimation of erosion yields of the composite ceramics BN-SiO2 used in HETs.
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