Atomic/molecular depth profiling of nanometric-metallized polymer thin films by secondary ion mass spectrometry

Helena Téllez, José Miguel Vadillo, José Javier Laserna

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The capability of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to perform atomic and molecular in-depth analysis in complex nanometric-metallized thin polymer films used to manufacture capacitors is demonstrated through three different case studies related to failure analysis. The excellent repeatability and sensitivity of the technique allow us to study the degradation process of the nanometric- metallized layer in the capacitor films and the accurate location of the metal-polymer interface. The analysis of the sample is challenging due to the extreme difference in conductivity between layers, and the reduced thickness of the metallization grown on top of a rough polymeric base. However, SIMS has provided reliable and reproducible results with relative standard deviation (RSD) values better than 1.5% in the metallic layer thickness estimation. The detailed information of atomic and molecular ion in-depth distributions provided by SIMS depth profiling has allowed the identification of different factors (demetallization, generation of interstitial oxide regions, and diffusion processes or modification in the metallization thickness) that can be directly related to the origin of the lack of performance of the mounted devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry


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