Advanced Materials

Optical and surface-analytical methods for the characterization of ultrathin organic films


  • Dr. Christoph Bubeck,

    1. Max-Planck-lnstitut für Polymerforschung, Postfach 3148, D-6500 Mainz (FRG)
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    • studied physics at the Universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart. In 1979 he gained his Ph.D. degree for ESR investigations of the photopolymerization of diacetylene single crystals. In 1979–1980 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the IBM Research Laboratory in San Jose where he worked on plasma polymerization and incorporation of metals in polymer films. He then joined Professor Wegner's group at the University of Freiburg concentrating on optical investigations of Langmuir–Blodgett films of diacetylenes. Since 1984 he has been working at the Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung where he has set up and is guiding the group “Optical Spectroscopy” and is mainly responsible for the project “Ultrathin Films of Polymers”.

  • Dr. Dieter Holtkamp

    1. Bayer AG, Zentrale Forschung, ZF-TPF 4, D-5090 Leverkusen (FRG)
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    • studied physics at the University of Münster and was awardedhis Ph.D. in 1986 for work on “Surface Analytical Investigations of Organic Adsorbates” in the group of Prof. Benninghoven. He then joined the solid-state physics group of the Central Research Department of Bayer AG, in Leverkusen, FRG, where he is mainly involved in the characterization ofpolymers and composites with microscopy, microanalysis and surface analysis.

  • C. B. would like to thank his coworkers Dr. T. Arndt for providing the FTIR results shown in Fig. 7 and many fruitful discussions, T. Heinz, and B. Zimmer for the waveguide Raman results and W. Scholdei for considerable technical support. D. H. would like to thank: Prof. A. Benninghoven and B. Hagenhoff (University of Münster, FRG) for the SIMS-TOF results, and Dr. G. Müller and E. Kops (Bayer AC, D-4150 Krefeld) for providing the SNMS and phase shift interferometry results and for many fruitful discussions. Financial support was given by the BMFT for the joint project „ultrathin films of polymers”.


Review: The elemental and molecular composition of polymeric organic films can be studied using techniques such as secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), infrared and Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). These non-destructive methods also reveal information on depth profiles, molecular organization, and interface effects. The techniques and improvemetns made specifically for the study of monolayers and LB films using vibrational spectroscopy are described.