Volume diffusion of atomic oxygen in α-SiO2 protective coating

Masahito Tagawa, Kumiko Yokota, Nobuo Ohmae, Hiroshi Kinoshita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The minimum thickness for an amorphous silicon dioxide (α-SiO2) protective coating required to prevent volume diffusion of atomic oxygen in a low Earth orbit (LEO) was evaluated by measuring the oxide thickness formed on Si(001) wafers in a hyperthermal atomic oxygen beam. The thickness of oxide film was measured by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The diffusion length of atomic oxygen in α-SiO2 at temperatures between 297 K and 493 K, where exterior surfaces of a spacecraft may be heated in LEO, shows temperature and flux dependences, i.e. the diffusion length of atomic oxygen increases with increasing temperature and beam flux. It was also demonstrated that the atomic oxygen fluence is not a primary factor of the diffusion length since the oxide growth obeys a parabolic law. The ground-based testing condition to evaluate performances of protective coatings are also discussed, based on the experimental data obtained in the experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalHigh Performance Polymers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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