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Applications of Microstructured Silicon Wafers as Internal Reflection Elements in Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Volume 64, Number 9 (Sept. 2010) Page 1022-1027

Schumacher, Henrik; Künzelmann, Ulrich; Vasilev, Boris; Eichhorn, Klaus-Jochen; Bartha, Johann W.


A novel internal reflection element (IRE) for attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectral acquisition is introduced and applied for several surface-sensitive measurements. It is based on microstructured double-side-polished (100) silicon wafers with v-shaped grooves of {111} facets on their backside. These facets of the so-called “microstructured single-reflection elements” (mSRE) are formed by a crystal-oriented anisotropic wet etching process within a conventional wafer structuring process. They are used to couple infrared radiation into and out of the IRE. In contrast to the application of the commonly used silicon multiple-reflection elements (MRE), the new elements provide single-reflection ATR measurements at the opposite wafer side by using simple reflection accessories without any special collimation. Due to the short light path, the spectral range covers the entire mid-infrared region with a high optical throughput, including the range of silicon lattice vibrations from 300 to 1500 cm-1. In addition to typical ATR applications, i.e., the measurement of bulk liquids and soft materials, the new reflection elements can be effectively used and customer-specifically designed for in situ and ex situ investigations of aqueous solutions, thin films, and monolayers on Si. Examples presented in this article are in situ etching of native as well as thermal SiO2 and characterization of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films on Si under various measuring conditions.