Gas cluster depth profiling with sample rotation

May 18th 2017

Thin film polymer structures are finding an increasing number of applications including optical filters and reflectors, organic electronics and drug delivery systems.  The use of gas clusters has allowed the sputter depth profiling of this class of materials, where the chemistry of the polymer is retained throughout the profile.  Here, 10 keV Ar1000+ ions were used to depth profile through a 50 layer multilayer Bragg reflector comprising spin-coated polystyrene (PS) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP).  In our recent pubication [1] characterization by complimentary techniques confirm the PS and PVP  layers were 328nm and 288nm respectively such that the multilayer material was >15um thick.  Figure (a) shows the sputter depth profile through the entire structure to the glass substrate.  The layer structure is retained throughout the depth profile and it is evident that the fabrication of the structure resulted in uniform layer thickness for each respective polymer layer.  sputtering process.

Figures (b) and (c) show the C 1s spectrum for layers 35 and 36 respectively, demonstrating that the chemistry of the polymer is also retained during the 


[1]  Smith EF, Counsell J, Bailey J, et al. Sample rotation improves gas cluster sputter depth profiling of polymers. Surf Interface Anal. 2017,