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ESCA Studies of a Brass Surface Subjected to Gas-Jet-Enhanced Sputtering in a Glow Discharge

Volume 48, Number 4 (April 1994) Page 426-435

Govier, Robert D.; Piepmeier, Edward H.


Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA) is used to study selected regions of a brass surface subjected to gas-jet-enhanced sputtering in a glow discharge. Gas jets directed at the sample surface during sputtering in a glow discharge increase the removal rate of sample material from the surface and cause changes to the surface which are visually evident in the formation of craters and surface deposits. Changes in chemical composition of these regions are observed when successive atomic layers are removed from the sample by the ion beam etching accessory in the ESCA spectrometer. The effects of ion bombardment can be explained in terms of the selective sputtering of one bulk component over another. The surfaces in the sputtered craters were found to be depleted of the higher-sputtering-yield component, Zn, when compared to the bulk composition. In a deposit, the component with the highest sputtering yield was found to be more concentrated in layers closest to the bulk material. The component with the lowest sputtering yield was found at relatively higher concentrations nearest the deposit surface. The component with the higher sputtering yield is selectively sputtered first during the glow discharge, and consequently is deposited with a higher concentration closest to the bulk, the converse being true for the lowest-sputtering-yield component.