Investigation of wetting properties of the original silicon wafers and modified by oxidation was carried out by contact angles measurements of water at varying relative humidity (RH) of the atmosphere present in the measuring chamber. At three selected humidities (10, 30 and 50%) contact angles of diiodomethane and formamide were also determined for the original silicon wafer only. The topography of the tested surfaces was determined with the help of atomic force microscopy (AFM). Using the measured contact angles the total apparent surface free energy and its components of studied silicon wafers were determined using two models: the contact angle hysteresis (CAH) and Lifshitz-van der Waals acid-base (LWAB) approaches. In the former approach the advancing and receding contact angles are employed, and in the latter only the advancing angles. It was found that in the case of original silicon wafer the contact angels and surface free energy depend on the humidity only in the RH range from 10 to 40% with a minimum at 30% RH, and then they fluctuate around a mean value. For the oxidized silicon wafer the changes in the contact angles and the surface free energy depend on the relative humidity and change periodically with increasing RH. These changes can result from water adsorption on the hydrophilic silicon surface.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.