We review in this chapter the use of low-energy ion bombardment (LEIB) in oxide thin films. In most cases, radiation effects in oxides are ultimately based on the preferential sputtering of the oxygen anions, yielding a chemically reduced oxide. The physics governing the processes in the low ion energy range will be briefly commented here. Also, general uses and applications of LEIB are reviewed here, focusing later in those specific applications on oxide layers. LEIB in oxides has supported, for instance, the fabrication of conductive transparent layers on top of semiconductors or the formation of self-organized morphological surface patterns. Finally, we show a novel application of LEIB when applied on single-crystalline surfaces of some oxides, which is the formation of an epitaxial thin film of the corresponding suboxide. For instance, we show how ion bombardment transform the surface of TiO2(110) into an epitaxial TiO(001) thin film.
Part of the book: Modern Technologies for Creating the Thin-film Systems and Coatings