Krypton Gas Adsorption for Thin Film Pore Size Analysis

Pore size distributions on thin films can be obtained using Krypton adsorption at 87 K. The pore size distributions are calculated using a calibrated method that is traceable to NLDFT. Silica and titania thin film measurements and corresponding pore size distributions at 87 K using Kr are discussed.


Mesoporous silica thin films have important applica-tions in many fields, including sensors and low-k dielectrics. Lowering the bulk dielectric constant can occur by introducing pores into the material, where the pore size of interest is below 10 nm. Detailed knowledge of the pore size and pore volume is therefore crucial in optimizing the development and fabrication of such thin film materials for micro- and nano-electronic applications.

Many experimental methods are available for characterizing porous materials, including SAXS, SANS, XRD, mercury porosimetry, electron microscopy, solid state NMR methods, and gas sorption. Each method is pore size range-limited. Gas sorption is the most popular because it allows a wide range of pore sizes to be assessed – from 0.35 nm up to over 100 nm. Gas adsorption experiments are also more cost effective, easy to prepare, and non-destructive compared to other techniques.

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