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The study of adhesion requires the characterization of surfaces and interfaces. One surface analytical technique which has been used extensively in the study of adhesion is secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). This paper provides a brief introduction to the basis of this technique and describes the two broad categories of SIMS analyses: static and dynamic. A complete literature review of the applications of SIMS to the study of adhesion follows. The papers reviewed are organized into a series of topics including the nature of surfaces produced by pre-bonding treatments, contamination which produces adhesion loss, polymer damage at interfaces, silanes and adhesion, characterization of polymer/polymer interfaces, and measurements of interface widths by SIMS.
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