In this study, a series of random copolymers of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) were prepared as surface-initiated polymer (SIP) films on silicon substrates using atom transfer radical polymerization. Positive and negative ion static time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) was used to characterize SIP films with different MMA/EGDMA monomer ratios in an attempt to quantify their surface composition. However, matrix effects in the positive and negative ion modes led to preferential secondary ion generation from the EGDMA monomer and suppression of secondary ions characteristic of the MMA monomer, precluding accurate quantification using standard linear quantification methods. Ion-induced degradation of these films under 5 keV SF5+ bombardment was also examined to determine the effect of cross-linking on the accumulation of ion-induced damage. Increasing incorporation of the EGDMA cross-linker in the SIP films decreased the sputter rate and increased the rate of damage accumulation under extended (> 1014 ions/cm2) 5 keV SF5+ bombardment. Comparison of the ion bombardment data with thermal degradation of cross-linked PMMA suggests that the presence of the cross-linker impedes degradation by depolymerization, resulting in ion-induced damage accumulation. The increased rate of ion-induced damage accumulation with increased cross-link density also suggests that polymers that can form cross-links during ion bombardment are less amenable to depth profiling using polyatomic primary ions.
Citation: Applied Surface Science
Pub Type: Journals
depth profiling, ethylene glycol dimethacyclate, methyl methacylate