RATIONALE: Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) with polyatomic primary ions provides a successful tool for molecular depth profiling of polymer systems, relevant in many technological applications. Widespread C-60 sources, however, cause in some polymers extensive damage with loss of molecular information along depth. We study a method, based on the use of a radical scavenger, for inhibiting ion-beam-induced reactions causing sample damage.METHODS: Layered polystyrene sulfonate and polyacrylic acid based polyelectrolyte films, behaving differently towards C-60 beam-induced damage, were selected and prepared as model systems. They were depth profiled by means of time-of-flight (TOF)-SIMS in dual beam mode, using fullerene ions for sputtering. Nitric oxide was introduced into the analysis chamber as a radical scavenger. The effect of sample cooling combined with NO-dosing on the quality of depth profiles was explored.RESULTS: NO-dosing during C-60-SIMS depth profiling of >1 micrometer-thick multilayered polyelectrolytes allows detection, along depth, of characteristic fragments from systems otherwise damaged by C-60 bombardment, and increases sputtering yield by more than one order of magnitude. By contrast, NO has little influence on those layers that are well profiled with C-60 alone. Such leveling effect, more pronounced at low temperature, leads to a dramatic improvement of profile quality, with a clear definition of interfaces.CONCLUSIONS: NO-dosing provides a tool for extending the applicability, in SIMS depth profiling, of the widely spread fullerene ion sources. In view of the acceptable erosion rates on inorganics, obtainable with C-60, the method could be of relevance also in connection with the 3D-imaging of hybrid polymer/inorganic systems.
|Titolo:||Nitric oxide assisted C60 secondary ion mass spectrometry for molecular depth profiling of polyelectrolyte multilayers|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|