From a technical view point of the ion source, the EBIT has unique characteristics, such as low emittance, cold and very high charge-state ions, for a variety of applications in the research of ion-surface interactions. Studies of reactions between slow, very highly charged ions and surfaces could be performed recently by using the EBITs. Those ions have total potential energies in excess of over 100 keV, even if their kinetic energies are small. It is of fundamental interest to understand the mechanism of the energy deposition and how the large potential energy is lost and distributed to a variety of excitations during their interaction with a solid surface.
<above figure> STM image of HOPG irradiated with Xe44+ ions. Each blister-like defect has been formed by a single incident ion with a quantum efficiency of near unity.