Commercial O-face (0 0 0 1) ZnO single crystals were implanted with 200 keV Ar ions. The ion fluences applied cover a wide range from 5 x 1011 to 7 x 1016 cm-2. The implantation and the subsequent damage analysis by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) in channelling geometry were performed in a special target chamber at 15 K without changing the target temperature of the sample. To analyse the
measured channelling spectra the computer code DICADA was used to calculate the relative concentration of displaced lattice atoms. Four stages of the damage evolution can be identified. At low ion fluences up to about 2 x 1013 cm-2 the defect concentration increases nearly linearly with rising fluence (stage I). There are strong indications that only point defects are produced, the absolute concentration of which is reasonably given by SRIM calculations using displacement energies of Ed(Zn) = 65 eV and Ed(O) = 50 eV. In a second stage the defect concentration remains almost constant at a value of about 0.02, which can be interpreted by a balance between production and recombination of point defects. For ion fluences around 5 x 1015 cm-2 a second significant increase of the defect concentration is observed (stage III). Within stage IV at fluences above 1016 cm-2 the defect concentration tends again to saturate at a level of about 0.5 which is well below amorphisation. Within stages III and IV the damage formation is strongly governed by the implanted ions and it is appropriate to conclude that the damage consists of a mixture of point defects and dislocation loops.