Modelling the sputtering and reflection from a beryllium surface: atomistic analysis

S Shermukhamedov and L Chen and R Nazmutdinov and A Kaiser and M Probst, NUCLEAR FUSION, 61, 086013 (2021).

DOI: 10.1088/1741-4326/ac044e

Sputtering from plasma-facing surfaces upon particle impact can limit the lifetime of components in fusion devices, especially in the diverter region. Atomistic simulations of the processes associated with plasma- wall interactions allow for a detailed analysis of sputtering, reflection and adsorption. Most former works of beryllium sputtering by hydrogen isotopes were aimed mostly on the sputtering yield. We investigate the influence of impact energy and angle on sputtering, and analyze these quantities also for the outgoing particle. We model the sputtering by non-cumulative molecular dynamics simulations with a large number of trajectories for the various parameters. The underlying forces and energies are obtained from high-dimensional neural networks fitted to density functional calculations. We find a good agreement with the previously reported sputtering yields for perpendicular impact and a qualitative accordance with experimental data. In detail, the sputtering yield increases with increasing impact energy for angles of incidence larger than 45 degrees with respect to the surface normal, while smaller angles show a maximal yield up to 100 eV. In cases where D reflection rather than sputtering occurs, a similar pattern is found for all angles, with the maximal reflection rate at 80 degrees.

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