The Moon and Mercury are directly exposed to radiation effects from space due to a lack of a protecting atmosphere. Because of this space weathering, their surfaces have been modified and thin exospheres have been created by emitted surface atoms. In order to understand these processes, this project aims to investigate the sputtering of planetary minerals by solar wind ions. Analogue materials will be exposed to ion irradiation in laboratory experiments and the observed effects will be reproduced by using established sputtering simulation codes or by developing new models. Emphasis will be put on acquiring a dataset for several analogue materials to assess sputtering yields and changes of the surface properties as a result of the ion irradiation. Different sample preparation techniques will be compared to assess possible differences between thin films and pellet targets.
FWF Project No. I4101-N36, SNF Project No. 200021L_182771/1)