Modern track technologies based on high-power ion beams demonstrate synthesis capabilities and modification of materials capabilities. Irradiation with fast heavy ions allows one to control the properties of thin films and nanoparticles embedded in a solid matrix. When a fast heavy ion is moving in solids, a damaged area is formed, which is called “the hidden ion track”. Shortly thereafter, it was understood that ion tracks are narrow (about 5 nm in diameter), stable, chemically active areas, which appear as a result of the incident ion interaction with the target electrons. Later, it was discovered that ion tracks are formed in insulators and poorly conducting semiconductors provided that the electronic energy loss of Se exceeds some threshold value of Se0, the value of which is dependent on the target material. Due to the differences in the chemical reactivity of tracks and their surrounding matrix, nanochannels can be formed in track areas by treating the irradiated material with a suitable etchant. Nanoporous layers of SiO2 integrated into silicon are of particular interest for nanotechnology.
Scientific and practical significance of the research include in possibility to use the results of work to develop new generations of optoelectronics devices as a template when creating nanowire and cluster systems and active element of gas sensors that are compatible with silicon technology.