Flat panel displays (FPDs) are microfabricated devices that are often fabricated on specialized glass substrates known as display glass. The surface chemistry of the outer few nanometers of display glass can have an important influence on FPD performance and yield. Dsiplay glass surface characterization is difficult because (i) display glass surface composition varies significantly from its bulk composition; (ii) high-surface area forms of glass, such as fibers and powders, may not have the same surface composition as melt-formed planar surfaces, and (iii) the surface composition of display glass may be altered through exposure to chemical treatments commonly used during flat panel display production, including acids, bases, etchants, detergents, and plasmas. We have performed a detailed surface composition of Eagle XG®, a widely used commercial display glass substrate, using a range of surface analytical techniques including time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS) and low energy ion scattering (LEIS). The information from these techniques has given us a detailed understanding of the elemental surface composition and surface hydroxylation of Eagle XG® at length scales ranging from ca. 10 nm from the surface to the outermost atomic layer. These analyses reveal that the surface composition of Eagle XG® varies significantly from its bulk composition, having generally lower concentrations of Al, B, Mg, Ca, and Sr, and higher concentrations of Si. Treatment with an industrial alkaline detergent results in significant recovery of aluminum concentration at the Eagle XG® surface, while treatment with hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid result in further depletion of Al, B, Mg, Ca, and Sr at the sample surface.We used ToF-SIMS to quantify surface hydroxyls at the sample surface of this material. The SiOH+/Si+ peak area ratio was a useful metric of surface hydroxylation. We studied the effects of adventitious surface contamination on the measurements by analyzing samples dosed with perdeuterated triacontane, a model alkane, prior to analysis. Thick triacontane overlayers suppressed the SiOH+ signal, indicating that this approach gives inaccurately low estimates of surface hydroxylation for samples with high degrees of surface contamination, and accurate measurements are only possible for very-clean surfaces. The number of of hydroxyls on Eagle XG® surfaces varied as the surfaces were exposed to different chemical treatments. HF- and HCl- treated surfaces had the highest degree of hydroxylation, while detergent-treated surfaces had the lowest.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


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ToF-SIMS, XPS, LEIS, flat panel display, display glass, surface hydroxyl, multivatiate curve resolution