The tin oxide and silicon oxide films have been deposited on polycarbonate substrates as gas barrier films, using a thermal evaporation and ion beam assisted deposition process. The oxide films deposited by ion beam assisted deposition show a much lower water vapor transmission rate than those by thermal evaporation. The tin oxide films show a similar water vapor transmission rate to the silicon oxide films in thermal evaporation but a lower water vapor transmission rate in IBAD. These results are related to the fact that the permeation of water vapor with a large dipole moment is affected by the chemistry of oxides and the packing density of the oxide films. The permeation mechanism of water vapor through the oxide films is discussed in terms of the chemical interaction with water vapor and the microstructure of the oxide films. The chemical interaction of water vapor with oxide films has been investigated by the refractive index from ellipsometry and the OH group peak from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and the microstructure of the composite oxide films was characterized using atomic force microscopy and a transmission electron microscope. The activation energy for water vapor permeation through the oxide films has also been measured in relation to the permeation mechanism of water vapor. The diffusivity of water vapor for the tin oxide films has been calculated from the time lag plot, and its implications are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry