Comparison of silicon potentials for cluster bombardment simulations

Juha Samela, Kai Nordlund, J. Keinonen, Vladimir Popok

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17 Citations (Scopus)


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(11 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Reseach B
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Interatomic potential
  • Sputtering
  • Collision cascade
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Ion irradiation
  • Atomic cluster
  • Cratering


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