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Martin Šíra, David Trunec, Pavel Sťahel, Vilma Buršíková, Zdeněk Navrátil

Surface modification of polycarbonate in homogeneous atmospheric pressure discharge

Journal of Physics D 41 (2008) 015205

A homogeneous atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge was used for the surface modification of polycarbonate (PC). The discharge was generated between two planar metal electrodes, the top electrode was covered by glass and the bottom electrode was covered by a polymer sample. The discharge burned in pure nitrogen or in a mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen. The surface properties of both treated and untreated polymers were characterized by atomic force microscopy, surface free energy (SFE) measurements and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The influence of the treatment time and power input to the discharge on the surface properties of polymers was studied. The ageing of treated samples was also investigated. The treatment of polymers in the homogeneous atmospheric pressure discharge was homogeneous and the polymer surfaces showed a smaller degree of roughness in comparison with the polymer surfaces treated in a filamentary discharge. The SFE of the treated PC obtained at optimum conditions was 53 mJ m(-2) and the corresponding contact angle of water was 38 degrees. The maximum decrease in the SFE during ageing was about 13%. The analysis of the chemical composition showed an increase in the nitrogen concentration in the surface layer, but almost a zero increase in the oxygen concentration. This result was discussed concerning the measured values of the SFE measurement.

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