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Material dependence of argon cluster ion sputter yield in polymers: Method and measurements of relative sputter yields for 19 polymers

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3 Author(s)
Cumpson, Peter J. ; National EPSRC XPS User's Service (NEXUS), School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 7RU, United Kingdom ; Portoles, Jose F. ; Sano, Naoko

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There is a pressing need for reference data to allow sputter depth-profiling of polymers using cluster and polyatomic ion sources for the quantification of depth in XPS and SIMS. The authors have developed a new method of sputter rate measurement based on a combination of contact masking and white-light interferometry. This allowed us to measure sputter rates for 19 different polymers of technological significance, a much wider set of data than any available previously. The results show a much larger range of sputter yield than might previously have been expected. For example, the sputter yield of PMMA being more than ten times that of poly ether ether ketone when using argon ion clusters of around 4 eV/atom, with other polymers being widely distributed between these extremes. Without reference data for sputter rate this wide range could lead to major errors in depth estimation in sputter depth-profiling of polymer coatings, biomaterials, nanostructures, polymer electronic and polymer photovoltaic devices.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 2 )