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      Effect of oxide film on nanoscale mechanical removal of pure iron


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          In this paper, the properties of an oxide film formed on a pure iron surface after being polished with an H 2O 2-based acidic slurry were investigated using an atomic force microscope (AFM), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS) to partly reveal the material removal mechanism of pure iron during chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). The AFM results show that, when rubbed against a cone-shaped diamond tip in vacuum, the material removal depth of the polished pure iron first slowly increases to 0.45 nm with a relatively small slope of 0.11 nm/μN as the applied load increases from 0 to 4 μN, and then rapidly increases with a large slope of 1.98 nm/μN when the applied load further increases to 10 μN. In combination with the AES and AR-XPS results, a layered oxide film with approximately 2 nm thickness (roughly estimated from the sputtering rate) is formed on the pure iron surface. Moreover, the film can be simply divided into two layers, namely, an outer layer and an inner layer. The outer layer primarily consists of FeOOH (most likely α-FeOOH) and possibly Fe 2O 3 with a film thickness ranging from 0.36 to 0.48 nm (close to the 0.45 nm material removal depth at the 4 μN turning point), while the inner layer primarily consists of Fe 3O 4. The mechanical strength of the outer layer is much higher than that of the inner layer. Moreover, the mechanical strength of the inner layer is quite close to that of the pure iron substrate. However, when a real CMP process is applied to pure iron, pure mechanical wear by silica particles generates almost no material removal due to the extremely high mechanical strength of the oxide film. This indicates that other mechanisms, such as in-situ chemical corrosion-enhanced mechanical wear, dominate the CMP process.

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          Most cited references26

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          Characterization of the “native” surface thin film on pure polycrystalline iron: A high resolution XPS and TEM study

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            Mechanical properties of magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (α-Fe2O3) and goethite (α-FeO·OH) by instrumented indentation and molecular dynamics analysis

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              Thickness of natural oxide films determined by AES and XPS with/without sputtering


                Author and article information

                Tsinghua Science and Technology
                Tsinghua University Press (Xueyuan Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China )
                05 September 2018
                : 06
                : 03
                : 307-315 (pp. )
                [ 1 ] Tribology Research Institute, State Key Laboratory of Traction Power, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
                [ 2 ] Institute of Machinery Manufacturing Technology, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Mianyang 621900, China
                Author notes
                * Corresponding author: Liang JIANG, E-mail: jiangliang09@ 123456gmail.com

                Jinwei LIU. He received his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering in 2016 from Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China. He is currently a PhD candidate in Tribology Research Institute at the same university. His research interest includes metal materials chemical mechanical polishing.

                Liang JIANG. He is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China. He received his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering in 2009 from Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, and his PhD degree in mechanical engineering in 2015 from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. During the period 2010-2012, he studied as a joint PhD student in Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA. After then, he joined the faculty at Southwest Jiaotong University in 2015. His research interest includes chemical mechanical polishing.


                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 0, References: 29, Pages: 9
                Research Article

                Materials technology,Materials properties,Thin films & surfaces,Mechanical engineering
                nanoscale mechanical removal,chemical mechanical polishing,oxide film,pure iron


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