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Precise and fast secondary ion mass spectrometry depth profiling of polymer materials with large Ar cluster ion beams



We demonstrate depth profiling of polymer materials by using large argon (Ar) cluster ion beams. In general, depth profiling with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) presents serious problems in organic materials, because the primary keV atomic ion beams often damage them and the molecular ion yields decrease with increasing incident ion fluence. Recently, we have found reduced damage of organic materials during sputtering with large gas cluster ions, and reported on the unique secondary ion emission of organic materials. Secondary ions from the polymer films were measured with a linear type time-of-flight (TOF) technique; the films were also etched with large Ar cluster ion beams. The mean cluster size of the primary ion beams was Ar700 and incident energy was 5.5 keV. Although the primary ion fluence exceeded the static SIMS limit, the molecular ion intensities from the polymer films remained constant, indicating that irradiation with large Ar cluster ion beams rarely leads to damage accumulation on the surface of the films, and this characteristic is excellently suitable for SIMS depth profiling of organic materials. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.