Oxygen loss induced by swift heavy ions of low and high dE/dx in PMMA thin films

R. Thomaz, L. I. Gutierres, J. Morais, Pierre Louette, D. Severin, C. Trautmann, Jean-Jacques Pireaux, R. M. Papaléo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Investigations on the chemical modifications induced by swift heavy ions in PMMA thin films were carried out using beams of high dE/dx (2.2 GeV Bi, 14,090 eV/nm) and low dE/dx (2 MeV H, 19 eV/nm). The induced chemical modifications were monitored by XPS for films with initial thickness of 50 and 100 nm. For both beams, the irradiation decreased the amount of carbon atoms bound to oxygen (C=O and C-O-C), with a larger decrease of the carboxyl moiety, as expected. However, the chemical changes induced by light and heavy ions were qualitatively different. For the same mean deposited energy density, proton irradiation induced a decrease of the relative intensity of the carbon-oxygen bonds up to ∼20% larger than the irradiation with Bi ions. This suggests a greater importance of particle ejection by unzipping of PMMA chains at high dE/dx, which tends to keep the O/C ratio closer to the pristine value.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)578-582
    Number of pages5
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


    • Chemical modifications
    • Depolymerization
    • Ion irradiation
    • Polymer thin films


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