Investigation of glow-discharge-induced morphology modifications on silicon wafers and chromium conversion coatings by AFM and rugosimetry

Malherbe, Julien; Martinez, Hervé; Fernández, Beatriz; Donard, Olivier F. X.
April 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Apr2010, Vol. 396 Issue 8, p2841
Academic Journal
The effect of radiofrequency glow-discharge sputtering on the sample surface in terms of modifications in the surface morphology were investigated in this work by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and rugosimetry measurements. The influence of GD operating parameters (e.g. rf power, discharge pressure and sputtering time) on surface roughening was investigated using two different types of samples: mirror-polished and homogeneous silicon wafers and chromate conversion coatings (CCCs). Surface morphology changes produced by GD sputtering into the sample surface were carefully investigated by AFM and rugosimetry, both at the original sample surface and at the bottom of GD craters using different GD experimental conditions, such as the sputtering time (from 1 s to 20 min), rf forward power (20–60 W for the Si wafer and 10–60 W for the CCC), and discharge pressure (400–1,000 Pa for the Si wafer and 500–1000 Pa for the CCC). In the present study, GD-induced morphology modifications were observed after rf-GD-OES analysis, both for the silicon wafers and the CCC. Additionally, the changes observed in surface roughness after GD sputtering were found to be sample-dependent, changing the proportion, shape and roughness of the micro-sized patterns and holes with the sample matrix and the GD conditions. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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