The damage evolution and concomitant dopant redistribution as a function of ion fluence during ultra shallow, heavy ion implants into Si have been investigated using medium energy ion scattering (MEIS) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). These studies involved As and Sb ions implanted at room temperature, at energies of 2.5 and 2 keV to doses from 3 × 10 13 to 5 × 10 15 cm -2. MEIS is capable of detecting both the displaced atom and implant profiles with sub-nanometre depth resolution. These studies show that for doses up to 1 × 10 14 cm -2 (at which an amorphous layer is formed) the damage build up does not follow the energy deposition function. Instead it proceeds through the initial formation of a ∼4 nm wide amorphous layer immediately under the oxide, that grows inwards into the bulk with increasing dose. This behaviour is explained in terms of the migration of some of the interstitials produced along the length of the collision cascade to the oxide or amorphous/crystal Si interface, where their trapping nucleates the growth of a shallow amorphous layer and the subsequent planar growth inwards of the damage layer. Although for doses ⩾4 × 10 14 cm -2 the As depth profiles agreed well with TRIM calculations, for lower doses As was observed to have a shallower profile, ∼2 nm nearer to the surface. This behaviour is related the growth of the amorphous layer and ascribed to the movement of As into the near-surface amorphous layer (probably mediated by point defect migration) in which the larger dopant is accommodated more easily. SIMS studies have confirmed this dopant segregation effect. Shallow Sb implants also exhibit this novel dopant movement effect for low doses in combination with a damage evolution similar to As.