Polymer, Vol.44, No.23, 7241-7249, 2003
XPS studies of directly fluorinated HDPE: problems and solutions
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) applied to the study of fluorinated polymer surfaces presents several problems related both to peak assignment and to degradation. In this work, we analyse extensively the question of XPS peak assignments in this kind of surfaces. We conclude that in this kind of surfaces using binding energy differences between fluorine and carbon is better than using absolute binding energies. Also a useful relation between fluorine photoelectron energy vs. polymer composition expressed through the atomic ratio fluorine/carbon (F/C) was found. A protocol for data treatment is proposed and applied to a XPS study of the degradation induced by X-ray on high-density polyethylene surfaces modified by direct fluorination. Results obtained for the degradation, namely the atomic ratio F/C obtained by two different methods, combined with angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) were used to study the fluorine concentration profile in depth, producing self-consistent results. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.