Abstract

We discuss some effects of oxygen ions on a polymer, on the basis of spectroscopic data analysis related to the study of the effect of the space medium in the lower earth orbit (LEO). Oxygen and UV light have an influence upon the surface of spacecraft in LEO. The light transmittance of polymers decreases with time during oxygen ion beam irradiation. The signals of CO<sub>2</sub> and C=O in the ATR spectra indicate that the surface of the polymer is oxidized and the chain of the polyimide partially cut. When the oxygen ion beam hits the aluminum coated on the polymer, the mass loss of aluminum can be clearly detected by measuring the change of the transmittance.

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