Contaminant Identification On Polymer Surfaces

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PHI XPS and TOF-SIMS instruments both have the ability to locate and chemically characterize contaminants on a polymer surface. XPS surface analysis instruments provide quantitative chemical state information and TOF-SIMS provides molecular information that may lead to the identification of a specific substance as the contaminant.

A scanning x-ray beam induced secondary electron image of the optically transparent PET sample (Fig. 1) revealed the presence of unexpected localized surface contaminants on the polymers surface. Micro-area XPS spectra obtained with a 20 μm diameter x-ray beam quickly identified the contaminant as a fluorocarbon (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3).