Tin etching from metallic and oxidized scandium thin films

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Abstract

The role of oxide on Sn adhesion to Sc surfaces was studied with in-situ ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and secondary electron microscopy. Sn etching with hydrogen radicals was performed on metallic Sc, metallic Sc with a native oxide, and a fully oxidized Sc layer. The results show that Sn adsorbs rather weakly to a non-oxidized Sc surface, and is etched relatively easily by atomic hydrogen. In contrast, the presence of native oxide on Sc allows Sn to adsorb more strongly to the surface, slowing the etching. Furthermore, thinner layers of scandium oxide result in weaker Sn adsorption, indicating that the layer beneath the oxide plays a significant role in determining the adsorption strength. Unexpectedly, for Sn on Sc2O3, and, to a lesser extent, for Sn on Sc, the etch rate shows a variation over time, which is explained by surface restructuring, temperature change, and hydrogen adsorption saturation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number085107
Number of pages8
JournalAIP advances
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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