Degradation of ultra-thin boron films in air

L. B. Bayu Aji*, A. A. Baker, J. H. Bae, A. M. Hiszpanski, E. Stavrou, S. K. McCall, S. O. Kucheyev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Corrosion of B films in air can limit their practical applications. Here, we study the evolution of the elemental composition, thickness, and morphology of 10–100-nm-thick amorphous B films sputter-deposited onto glassy carbon substrates and stored under different conditions. Results show that films with thicknesses of ≳55 nm have expected excellent corrosion resistance during storage in laboratory air at room temperature over several months. In contrast, ≲45-nm-thick films exhibit pronounced degradation upon air exposure, starting with a change in the composition to ∼30 and ∼50 at.% of O and H, respectively. After such an O and H uptake, the degradation proceeds via mass loss with a characteristic time constant of ∼5 days in air at room temperature. A post-deposition annealing at 1000 °C in an inert atmosphere makes all the films corrosion resistant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-501
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • AFM
  • Boron
  • Oxidation
  • Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy
  • Thin films


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