Polymer screening by radiofrequency glow discharge time-of-flight mass spectrometry
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The aim of this work is to optimise and evaluate radiofrequency glow discharge (RF GD) time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) for identification of organic polymers. For this purpose, different polymers including poly[methylmethacrylate], poly[styrene], polyethylene terephthalate-co-isophthalate and poly[alpha-methylstyrene] have been deposited on silicon wafers and the RF GD-TOFMS capabilities for qualitative identification of these polymeric layers by molecular depth profiling have been investigated. Although some molecular information using the RF continuous mode is available, the pulsed mode offers a greater analytical potential to characterise such organic coatings. Some formed polyatomic ions have proved to be useful to identify the different polymer layers, confirming that layers having similar elemental composition but different polymer structure could be also differentiated and identified.