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Zhi Fang, Xiangqian Xie, Jian-Long Li, Hao Yang, Yuchang Qiu, E. Kuffel

Comparison of surface modification of polypropylene film by filamentary DBD at atmospheric pressure and homogeneous DBD at medium pressure in air

Journal of Physics D 42 (2009) 999

Non-equilibrium plasmas generated by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) are of great interest in material surface processing because of their convenience, effectiveness and low cost. In this paper, polypropylene (PP) films are modified using a non-equilibrium plasma generated by a DBD in air in homogeneous mode and in filamentary mode. The filamentary DBD is generated in ambient air, and the homogeneous DBD is generated at medium pressure with an operating pressure value of 3 kPa. The characteristics of homogeneous DBD are studied and compared with those of filamentary DBD by measuring their electrical discharge parameters and observing their light emission phenomena, and the surface properties of the PP films before and after the treatments are studied using contact angle and surface energy measurement, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. It is found that the homogeneous DBD is even and stable in the whole gas gap, which differs from the commonly filamentary DBD. The plasma treatments modify the PP surface in both morphology and composition. The PP films modified in both treatments show a remarkable decrease in the water contact angle and a remarkable increase in surface energy due to the introduction of oxygen-containing groups on the surface and the etching of the surface. The homogeneous DBD is more effective in PP surface modification than the filamentary DBD as it can make the contact angle decrease to a lower level by introducing more oxygen-containing groups. This effect could be explained by the evenly distributed plasma at a homogeneous DBD than at a filamentary DBD, and by the more efficient introduction of atomic oxygen to the PP surface in the case of homogeneous DBD.

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