Tailoring of the PS surface with low energy ions: relevance to growth and adhesion of noble metals

V. Zaporojtchenko, J. Zekonyte, S. Wille, U. Schuermann, F. Faupel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Ion–polymer interaction induces different phenomena in the near surface layer of polymers, and promotes its adhesion to metals. Using XPS, TEM and AFM, polystyrene surface was examined after 1 keV ion-beam treatments with oxygen, nitrogen and argon ions in the ion fluence range from 1012 to 1016 cm−2 to clarify the following points: chemical reaction after treatment in vacuum and after exposure to air, identification of adsorption-relevant species for metal atoms, formation of cross-links in the outermost polymer layer. The early stages of metal–polymer interface formation during metallization play a crucial role in the metal–polymer adhesion. Therefore, the influence of the ion fluence and ion chemistry on the condensation of noble metals, film growth and peel strength were measured. The peel strength showed a maximum at a certain fluence depending on ion chemistry. For example, the surface treatment with very low fluence of oxygen ions improved the adhesion between copper and polystyrene by two orders of magnitude without significantly increasing the surface roughness measured with AFM. The locus of failure changed at the same time from interfacial failure for untreated polymer surfaces to cohesive failure in the polymer for modified surfaces. A multilayer model of the metal–polymer interface after ion treatment is suggested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-102
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


    • ion irradiation
    • polymers
    • glass transition
    • X-ray photoelectron spectra-surface analysis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Tailoring of the PS surface with low energy ions: relevance to growth and adhesion of noble metals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this