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Mean free path for inelastic scattering of 1.2 kev electrons in thin poly(methylmethacrylate) films



Mean free paths for inelastic scattering (λ) of low energy electrons in poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) have been determined by measuring Al Kα excited C 1s and Si 2s photoelectron signal intensities as a function of ellipsometrically determined thicknesses of PMMA overlayers on silicon substrates. The λ values obtained are 29 ± 4 Å for 1196 eV electrons and 33 ± 5 Å for 1328 eV electrons. These data are necessary for the quantitative analysis of the surface region of PMMA and similar polymers by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The magnitude of the λ values determined indicates that XPS measurements can provide chemical information about the surface region of polymers, such as PMMA, in the depth range of ∼6 to 100 Å. The results of this study are compared and discussed with respect to λ values determined for other organic compounds.

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