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Molecules 2012, 17(9), 10119-10130; doi:10.3390/molecules170910119

Dry Etching of Copper Phthalocyanine Thin Films: Effects on Morphology and Surface Stoichiometry

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4, Canada
NRC-National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton, AB T6G 2M9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 July 2012 / Revised: 16 August 2012 / Accepted: 20 August 2012 / Published: 24 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tetrapyrroles, Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines)
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We investigate the evolution of copper phthalocyanine thin films as they are etched with argon plasma. Significant morphological changes occur as a result of the ion bombardment; a planar surface quickly becomes an array of nanopillars which are less than 20 nm in diameter. The changes in morphology are independent of plasma power, which controls the etch rate only. Analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows that surface concentrations of copper and oxygen increase with etch time, while carbon and nitrogen are depleted. Despite these changes in surface stoichiometry, we observe no effect on the work function. The absorbance and X-ray diffraction spectra show no changes other than the peaks diminishing with etch time. These findings have important implications for organic photovoltaic devices which seek nanopillar thin films of metal phthalocyanine materials as an optimal structure.
Keywords: phthalocyanine dyes; vapor phase processes; dry etching; nanopillar formation phthalocyanine dyes; vapor phase processes; dry etching; nanopillar formation

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Dijken, J.G.; Brett, M.J. Dry Etching of Copper Phthalocyanine Thin Films: Effects on Morphology and Surface Stoichiometry. Molecules 2012, 17, 10119-10130.

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