In situ XPS analysis of the electronic structure of silicon and titanium thin films exposed to low-pressure inductively-coupled RF plasma

TitleIn situ XPS analysis of the electronic structure of silicon and titanium thin films exposed to low-pressure inductively-coupled RF plasma
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsFraxedas, J, Schütte, M, Sauthier, G, Tallarida, M, Ferrer, S, Carlino, V, Pellegrin, E
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume542
Pagination148684
ISSN0169-4332
KeywordsBand bending, Carbon contamination, Inductively-coupled RF plasma, Silicon oxide, Surface defects, Thin-film coatings, Titanium oxide, Ultrahigh vacuum chamber walls, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy
Abstract

Carbon contamination of synchrotron and free-electron lasers beamline optics continues to be a major nuisance due to the interaction of the intense photon beams with the surfaces of the optical elements in the presence of residual gases even in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. Among the available in situ cleaning strategies, low-pressure radio frequency (RF) plasma treatment has emerged as a useful and relatively simple approach to remove such carbon contamination. However, the irreversible damage that the plasma may induce in such critical surfaces has to be carefully characterized before its general application. In this study, we focus on reducing the amount of carbon from UHV chamber inside surfaces via silicon and titanium coatings using a low-pressure inductively-coupled downstream plasma source and we characterize the surface alterations by in situ X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS). The in situ mirror cleaning is simulated by means of silicon wafers. We observe upward band bending, which translates into lower binding energies of the photoemission lines, that we attribute to the generation of vacancies and trapped charges in the oxide layers.

URLhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169433220334425
DOI10.1016/j.apsusc.2020.148684
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