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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 1.5 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Due to the attraction of plasma technologies as a clean and efficient means of surface modification, significant research has gone into the physical and chemical aspects of polymer functionalization. In this study, it was shown that the use of an atmospheric plasma jet can efficiently modify the surface of polyethylene terephthalate samples and change their hydrophobic properties to more hydrophilic characteristics. The dependence on the changes with respect to time, distance, and atomic oxygen (O I) intensity were considered as factors. It was found that with closer proximity to the plasma source (without causing thermal degradation) and with increasing levels of O I, that the changes of water contact angle and surface free energy can be maximized. It was also observed that the electron energy distribution function, for a given chemistry, significantly differed with changes in distance from the jet nozzle. This shows that for this type of plasma jet system, the bulk of the chemical reactions occur in the nozzle of the jet and not in the surrounding atmosphere. Therefore, this leads to more efficient energy transfer, higher gas temperatures, and better surface activation of samples when compared to systems that produce external chemical reactions due to more diffusion in the surrounding atmosphere and loss of reactive species to other atoms and molecules that are present.
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 35, 03E105 (2017); DOI: 10.1116/1.4978254