Case Study: Surface Oxidation of Si3N4 (Silicon Nitride)
Si3N4 (Silicon Nitride) has good oxidation resistance and hence potential in many applications where strong resistance to environment-accelerated oxidation is required. Examples include biological implantation and high temperature environment. The rate of oxidation at Si3N4 surface can be monitored by obtaining the depth profile of SiO2 using Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and ion sputtering. By comparing the SiO2 depth profiles of treated and untreated samples (a native SiO2 layer always exists), the rate of oxidation can be determined.