Plasma fluorination of diamond-like carbon surfaces: Mechanism and application to nanoimprint lithography

Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
Nanotechnology (Impact Factor: 3.82). 05/2009; 20(14):145306. DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/14/145306
Source: PubMed


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films, used as molds for nanoimprint lithography, were treated with a fluorocarbon-based plasma in order to enhance their anti-adhesion properties. While ellipsometry and atomic force microscope measurements showed negligible changes in thickness and surface roughness after plasma processing, contact angle measurement found fluorine plasma-treated DLC surfaces to be highly hydrophobic, with surface energy values reduced from approximately 45 mJ m(-2) for untreated films to approximately 20-30 mJ m(-2) after fluorination. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed a thin (from approximately 0.5 to approximately 3 nm) fluorocarbon layer on the DLC surface. Proposed mechanisms for the formation of this layer include two competing processes: etching of DLC and deposition of fluorocarbon material, with one or the other mechanism dominant, depending on the plasma conditions. Fluorocarbon plasma-treated DLC molds for nanoimprint lithography were used to pattern sub-20 nm size features with a high degree of repeatability, demonstrating an extended lifetime of the anti-adhesion coating.

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