Substrate temperature effects on film chemistry in plasma depositions of organics. II. Polymerizable precursors
The influence of substrate temperature during plasma deposition on the chemistry of the organic films formed was examined. Plasma ionization of precursor gases that are polymerizable by conventional mechanisms was studied. Film chemistry was analyzed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Monomers that polymerize by a free radical mechanism [2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hexafluorobutadiene (HFB)] form more regular polymers (i.e. with less molecular rearrangement) by plasma deposition at low substrate temperatures than monomers that polymerize by ionic mechanisms [ethylene oxide (EO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF)]. In all cases, lowering the substrate temperature during deposition produces films with elemental composition virtually identical to that of the precursor gas. Comparison of high-resolution XPS spectra of the deposited films with those for model polymers suggests that functional groups in the monomers used to generate the plasma are incorporated to a greater extent at low substrate temperatures. The effect of plasma power on the degree of precursor structure retention obtained when reduced substrate temperatures are employed was also examined. Plasma deposition of HEMA at low substrate temperatures and low plasma power produces thin films which are, by core level XPS, indistinguishable from HEMA polymerized by conventional methods. EO and THF films coated at low substrate temperatures on glass, polyethylene, or polytetrafluoroethylene varied widely in surface chemistry due to differences in film uniformity. Film quality (uniformity) is enhanced for these low reactivity precursors by pretreating substrates with argon plasma.
Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
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