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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Andrzej Bernasik abstract

Andrzej Bernasik oral presentation (FN1-Mon4-2-3)

Surface topography of polymers induced by argon cluster ion beam sputtering

Andrzej Bernasik1,2, Mateusz M. Marzec2, Jakub Haberko1, Jakub Rysz3, Wojciech Łużny1, Andrzej Budkowski3

1 AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
2 AGH University of Science and Technology, Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology, al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
3 Smoluchowski Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Łojasiewicza 11, 30-348 Kraków, Poland


Ion beam sputtering plays a fundamental role in depth profiling combined with spectroscopic methods such as SIMS or XPS. One of the most important features is surface topography evolution during sputtering, which in some cases limits the depth resolution. Surface morphology induced by ion sputtering has been investigated both theoretically and experimentally for decades. The majority of studies have been conducted on crystalline and amorphous targets. It has been documented that surface topography induced by low and medium energy ions depends on their flux, fluence, incident angle as well as composition and temperature of the sample and surface diffusion. These parameters determine the formation of characteristic features, such as different shapes of ripples, grooves, cones or holes. The application of argon gas cluster ion beams (Ar-GCIB) in SIMS and XPS depth profiling of polymer and organic materials has recently opened new opportunities for precisely determining components’ distributions in thin film samples.

In this study we focus on polymer surface roughening induced by sputtering with Ar-GCIB. We have studied a large set of acrylic polymers, poly(3-alkylthiophenes) with different alkyl group length as well as polystyrene. Surface topography was analyzed with AFM. Chemical stability of the sputtered polymers was examined with XPS. Similar to features formed by sand grains on a desert we observed different shapes of ripples. The type and height of features depends on the polymer and the energy of the argon clusters. However, the length of the ripples does not depend on polymer type.