The electrospray droplet impact (EDI) method is a newly developed etching method using extremely large charged water cluster ions with masses of several 106 u. This work presents a comparative XPS study of chemical states of the transition metal oxides, TiO2 and Ta2O5, etched by Ar+ and EDI. Selective sputtering of oxygen was observed by Ar+ etching for these samples, but no chemical modification took place by EDI. This finding provided further evidence that EDI has the capability of nonselective etching for both inorganic and organic materials. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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