This article reviews the results of molecular dynamics simulations of kilo-electron-volt projectile (Ga, Au1−400, Bi1−5, C60, Ar60−2000 and organic clusters) impacts with two model hydrocarbon targets, an amorphous solid made of kilodalton molecules and a crystal of polyethylene with ‘infinite’ chain length. The ‘universal’ dependences of the sputtered mass on the projectile energy, when scaled by the projectile mass, with their characteristic transition around 1 eV/amu (or ~14 km/s), are analyzed and explained by the physics of the interaction. We also comment on comparisons with recent experimental sputtering data. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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