We observe a pronounced variation of wettability properties in solid state materials induced by a low-energy electron beam. The phenomenon occurs in several stages characterized by various mechanisms. We show that for low electron doses the irradiation leads to decrease in the wetting of a dielectric surface due to induced surface electric potential. The higher electron charge leads to formation of a chemical monolayer on material's surface. It has been found that the electron irradiation strongly modifies the surface free energy of SiO2 by decreasing its total surface free energy value, almost twice. However, electron-induced variations of dispersive and polar components of the surface free energy are quite different and depend of incident electron charge.
- Surface energy
- Surface modification