Indexed on: 28 Jul '04Published on: 28 Jul '04Published in: Langmuir
The phenomenon of contact angle hysteresis was studied on smooth films of polyimide, a polymer type used in the microelectronic industry, by dynamic cycling contact angle measurements based on axisymmetric drop shape analysis-profile in combination with variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE). It was found that both advancing and receding contact angles became smaller with increasing the number of cycles and are, therefore, not a property of the dry solid alone. The changes of the wetting behavior during these dynamic cycling contact angle measurements are attributed mainly to swelling and/or liquid retention. To reveal the water-induced changes of the polymer film, the polyimide surface was studied before and after the contact with a water droplet by VASE. Both the experimental ellipsometric spectrum for Delta and that for Psi as well as the corresponding simulations show characteristic shifts due to the contact with water. The so-called effective medium approximation was applied to recover information about the thickness and effective optical constants of the polymer layer from the ellipsometrically measured values of Delta and Psi. On the basis of these results, the swelling and retention behavior of the polyimide films in contact with water droplets were discussed.