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Keywords:

  • ion formation;
  • freezing distance;
  • electron temperatures

The ionization probabilities of particles emitted from a silver (111) surface after bombardment with 5-keV silver atoms are calculated by means of a hybrid computer simulation model combining molecular dynamics with kinetic electronic excitation. The simulations produce a four-dimensional electron excitation profile parameterized by an effective electron temperature inline image which is then used to calculate an individual ionization probability α+ for each sputtered atom. The results demonstrate the significant role of the time structure of the electron temperature profile. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.