Probing the reaction mechanism between a laser welded polyamide thin film and titanium with XPS and ToF-SIMS

P. Hirchenhahn, A. Al Sayyad, J. Bardon, P. Plapper, L. Houssiau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biomedical industry uses more and more polymer/metal hybrid assemblies because of the ability to combine the advantages and lower the inconveniences of both materials. The key is to assemble them. Among the high variety of existing assembling techniques, laser welding appears as an excellent option. It is a quick process allowing a great design flexibility, high reproducibility without intermediate material needed to create the adhesion, which is advantageous for biomedical applications. The laser welding process creates strong adhesion between dissimilar materials, but the root cause for adhesion is still unclear. The analytical challenge is to gain an information at the molecular level from an interface that is deeply buried between the two materials. Such a study requires extremely surface sensitive analytical methods, such as ToF-SIMS or XPS in order to detect chemical bonds, but also a method to expose the interface to the X-ray or ion beam. In order to investigate the chemical bonding at the interface between polyamide-6.6 and titanium, mirror polished titanium surfaces were prepared, on which a thin polyamide-6.6 film was spin-coated. The samples were laser welded, and after dissolving the polymer thin film, XPS and ToF-SIMS measurement were performed. The ToF-SIMS data interpretation was assisted by a principal component analysis. This multivariate analysis is rather common for ToF-SIMS data but is more rarely used to solve adhesion problems. This allowed to show the nature of the chemical bond at the interface and to propose a reaction mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123539
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Adhesion
  • Chemical bonding
  • Interface
  • Laser welding
  • Nylon-66
  • Principal component analysis
  • Titanium
  • ToF-SIMS
  • XPS


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