Multi-layered materials, especially those used for components in the biomedical and energy industries, are commonly composed of polymer-based materials. The surfaces of these materials must be analyzed to understand the interactions of the layers with each other and the environment. Commonly used techniques – such as an XPS system fitted with an ion gun that produces monatomic argon ions to remove material from the surface – has some drawbacks. Polymeric systems can be chemically modified by interaction with an ion beam, thus changing the chemistry and the spectra obtained during depth profiling. So, to allow depth profiling of the polymer-based systems, gas cluster ion sources have been developed.
Read the article to learn how a new monatomic and gas cluster ion source for XPS instruments uses both Ar+ and Arn+ (n>1000) gas cluster sputtering to clean surfaces and create depth profiles for a growing class of polymer-based advanced materials.