Laser Desorption/Ionization Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry of Thin Films Deposited on Silicon by Plasma Polymerization of Acetylene

by Miladinovic, S. M.; De Vriendt, V.; Robotham, S. A.; Maseri, F.; Lucas, S.; Wilkins, C. L.

Thin films deposited on silicon substrate by three different methods of plasma polymerization of acetylene were analyzed by direct laser desorption/ionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry. High-resolution mass spectra showed the presence of carbon clusters and hydrocarbon oligomers in different relative abundances. During unipolar and continuous discharge polymerization of acetylene-hydrogen gas mixtures, quadrupole mass spectra of the plasma constituents showed the presence of molecular species with m/z lower than 100 mainly peaks of C4H2 and C6H2. Films produced had smooth surfaces and the corresponding LDI-FTMS spectra displayed only carbon cluster signals in the positive ion mode and both hydrocarbon and carbon cluster signals (with much higher relative abundance of carbon cluster signals) in the negative ion mode. Alternatively, during bipolar discharge with either higher acetylene gas flux (>40 cm(3)/min) or longer deposition times (>10 min), quadrupole mass spectra of the plasma constituents showed signals corresponding to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAR) with m/z higher than 100. SEM pictures of the bipolar thin films demonstrated the presence of "flower" structures and nanoparticles developed on the surface. LDI-FTMS spectra of such thin films showed either total absence or lower relative abundance of carbon cluster signals, compared with hydrocarbon signals.

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Start Page
1879-1123; 1044-0305