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Journal Article

Improving the Stability of Amino-Containing Plasma Polymer Films in Aqueous Environments

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Dorst, J., Vandenbossche, M., Amberg, M., Bernard, L., Rupper, P., Weltmann, K.-D., et al. (2017). Improving the Stability of Amino-Containing Plasma Polymer Films in Aqueous Environments. Langmuir, 33(40), 10736-10744. doi:10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02135.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-0362-4
Plasma polymer films that contain amine groups (NH2-PPFs) are known to degrade over time, particularly in aqueous environments. To reduce such aging effects, a vertical chemical gradient regarding the amine group density was explored ranging over a few nanometers at the coating surface. The gradient-containing nanofilms were formed in low-pressure plasma by tuning plasma conditions while keeping the plasma “switched on”. The coating process started with a more cross-linked NH2-PPF (70 W, 4:7 NH3/C2H4), followed by the deposition of a few nanometers of a less cross-linked yet more functional NH2-PPF (50 W, 7:7 NH3/C2H4). Characterization of the prepared gradient coatings showed that the chemical composition depends on the NH3/C2H4 gas flow ratio, as observed by different analytical methods: plasma diagnostics during deposition and depth profiling analyses of the deposited coating. Finally, surface chemistry was analyzed during air and water aging, showing a similar aging process of the NH2-PPF single layer and NH2-PPF with a vertical chemical gradient in air, while the stability of the gradient coating was found to be enhanced under aqueous conditions maintaining an [NH2]/[C] amount of ∼1%.