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Yi Zhang, Judith Arfsten, Sascha A. Pihan, Tassilo Kaule, Renate Foerch, Ruediger Berger

Interface roughness of plasma deposited polymer layers

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 351 (2010) 532-536

The interface roughness of adjacent films which were made by plasma polymerization of hexamethyldisiloxane were investigated. Multilayered structures were made by using different plasma conditions in alteration resulting in different mechanical properties within each layer. Scanning force microscopy on the face side of fractured pieces of the multilayer structures revealed a significant phase contrast between the layers. The direct visualization of the interface using the mechanical contrast between layers allowed the estimation of the interfacial roughness. We found that the interfaces between hexamethyldisiloxane films deposited at a radio frequency (RF) input power of 90 W in the presence of oxygen on top of films made by 48 W without oxygen resulted in an interface roughness of approximate to 10 nm. In the reverse case, a significantly lower interface roughness of approximate to 3 nm was determined. We attribute the increase of the interfacial roughness compared to the surface roughness being <1 nm to partial etching of the films by the subsequent deposition process. A key role in the appearance of higher interface roughness plays the RF-input power that determines the cross linking density and the hydrocarbon content in layers. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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