Dissolution dynamics of thin films measured by optical reflectance


Punckt, C. ; Aksay, I. A. Dissolution dynamics of thin films measured by optical reflectance. Journal of Chemical Physics 2009, 131.

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Measuring the dissolution dynamics of thin films in situ both with spatial and temporal resolution can be a challenging task. Available methods such as scanning electrochemical microscopy rely on scanning the specimen and are intrinsically slow. We developed a characterization technique employing only an optical microscope, a digital charge coupled device camera, and a computer for image processing. It is capable of detecting dissolution rates of the order of nm/min and has a spatial and temporal resolution which is limited by the imaging and recording setup. We demonstrate the capabilities of our method by analyzing the electrochemical dissolution of copper thin films on gold substrates in a mild hydrochloric acid solution. Due to its simplicity, our technique can be implemented in any laboratory and can be applied to a variety of systems such as thin film sensors or passive coatings.