Oxidation of Planar and Plasmonic Ag Surfaces by Exposure to O2/Ar Plasma for Organic Optoelectronic Applications

Christopher E. Petoukhoff, Catherine Antonick, M. Bala Murali Krishna, Keshav M. Dani, Deirdre M. O'Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Here, we expose planar and plasmonic Ag surfaces to a low-power O2/Ar plasma to form an ultrathin surface oxide layer. We study the chemical state and morphology of the plasma-treated Ag surfaces using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and dark-field microscopy. We observe the formation of an ultrathin layer (< 10 nm) composed of both AgO x and Ag2CO3 for a plasma exposure time of 1 s by investigating shifts in the Ag3d, O1s, and C1s core level binding energies. For an exposure time of 1 s, the surface structure of the planar and plasmonic Ag surfaces remains unchanged. For exposure times of 5 - 30 s, the planar Ag surfaces become porous and exhibit increased surface roughness. We demonstrate that the plasma-treated planar and plasmonic Ag surfaces lead to improvements in the excited-state population of a polymer:fullerene coating through ultrafast pump-probe reflectometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-948
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • optoelectronic
  • oxidation
  • x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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