Interfacial Chemistry of Metal Films on Polymers: Diffusion, Oxidation, Trace Components Studied by XPS, ISS, and SIMS

  • Gene R. Sparrow
  • Larry Homstad


The advantages of flexible circuit boards (PC) made from sputtered metals on polymer substrates are becoming very obvious and demand for such products is dramatically increasing. In order to optimize the production and performance of such films it is essential to understand the chemical processes involved. The chemistry of these thin films, which consist of tens to hundreds of Angstroms of metals on various polymers, exhibits large variations from the outer surface to the interface. This chemistry is largely affected by the nature of processing and treatment and generally includes three distinct areas of interest: The outer surface; the central or bulk material, and the interfacial area. This chemistry is amenable to analysis by only a few modern analytical tools including XPS, ISS, and SIMS. The requirements for ion sputtering metals onto polymers and the equipment used are discussed below along with detailed analytical information obtained about the interfacial diffusion, oxidation, and trace components monitored throughout some of the resulting films.


Depth Profile Metal Film Concentration Depth Profile Scan Auger Microprobe Flexible Print Circuit Board 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gene R. Sparrow
    • 1
  • Larry Homstad
    • 2
  1. 1.Advanced R & D Inc.St. PaulUSA
  2. 2.American Thin Films Inc.St. PaulUSA

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