, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 2929-2938

Nano-structuring of PTFE surface by plasma treatment, etching, and sputtering with gold

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Abstract

Properties of pristine, plasma modified, and etched (by water and methanol) polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) were studied. Gold nanolayers sputtered on this modified PTFE have been also investigated. Contact angle, measured by goniometry, was studied as a function of plasma exposure and post-exposure aging times. Degradation of polymer chains was examined by etching of plasma modified PTFE in water or methanol. The amount of ablated and etched layer was measured by gravimetry. In the next step the pristine, plasma modified, and etched PTFE was sputtered with gold. Changes in surface morphology were observed using atomic force microscopy. Chemical structure of modified polymers was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Surface chemistry of the samples was investigated by electrokinetic analysis. Sheet resistance of the gold layers was measured by two-point technique. The contact angle of the plasma modified PTFE decreases with increasing exposure time. The PTFE amount, ablated by the plasma treatment, increases with the plasma exposure time. XPS measurements proved that during the plasma treatment the PTFE macromolecular chains are degraded and oxidized and new –C–O–C–, –C=O, and –O–C=O groups are created in modified surface layer. Surface of the plasma modified PTFE is weakly soluble in methanol and intensively soluble in water. Zeta potential and XPS shown dramatic changes in PTFE surface chemistry after the plasma exposure, water etching, and gold deposition. When continuous gold layer is formed a rapid decrease of the sheet resistance of the gold layer is observed.