An unexpected pronounced enhancement is observed in sputtering yields per atom for N12
to N1 from a polycrystalline gold target. This effect is seen when the kinetic energy per projectile
atom is below 500 eV and increases as projectile energy decreases to near-threshold energies.
Enhancements for O12
over O1 begin at even lower kinetic energies below 100 eV per atom. This
new molecular interaction effect may be explained qualitatively by invoking a simple energy transfer
model which involves the vibrational frequency of the molecule and the collisional interaction time.