Deposition and Characteristics of Atomic Oxygen Protective Coatings Using Plasma Polymerized HMDSO

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Abstract

Plasma polymerized films can be deposited on many materials from hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO)/oxygen (O2) mixtures. The device for plasma polymerization is described. Different HMDSO/O2 ratios in the das mixture provide varying degree of corrosion and erosion protection. The composition and structure of the deposited films were analyzed. The protective coatings on Kapton and polyester have been evaluated by testing in atomic oxygen beam equipment and in thermal energy plasma system. The HMDSO/O2 ratio in mixture has a significant effect on the composition and characteristics of polymerization films. Tests proved that HMDSO polymerization films deposited with appropriate HMDSO/O2 ratio (3/1) in mixture can protect efficiently substrates from atomic oxygen attack, without changing significantly the substrates optical properties. If there is no sufficient oxygen amount in gas mixture, polymerized films have a high rate of degradation due to attack by atomic oxygen. If oxygen is in excess, the polymerized films become rough, and can not sufficiently protect the substrates.