Improved water repellency of black spruce wood surfaces after treatment in carbon tetrafluoride plasmas
Plasma treatments for black spruce wood (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.), a widespread forest species from Canada, were carried out in order to waterproof the exposed surfaces. Experiments were performed using inductively coupled argon plasma with carbon tetrafluoride as the gaseous precursor for plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of functional fluoropolymer coatings on wood. Analysis of the wettability through water contact angle measurements showed water-repellent characteristics, with static contact angles up to 130° depending on plasma exposure time, CF4 concentration in the Ar/CF4 plasma, and plasma source-to-substrate distance. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations of plasma-treated wood surfaces confirmed the growth of a thin, fluorocarbon layer with fluorine atomic concentrations close to 50 % on highly hydrophobic wood surfaces. Estimation of the thickness of the coatings by stylus profilometry revealed that a minimum layer thickness of about 80 nm is required to obtain water repellant wood surfaces with minimum water uptake. This complete set of data indicates that fluorocarbon-containing plasmas represent a very promising approach for improving the durability of wood products in wet and humid conditions.
KeywordsContact Angle Wood Sample Wood Surface HMDSO Plasma Exposure Time
This work was supported by FPInnovations, Plasmionique, and the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada through the Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) program. The authors would like to acknowledge the technical contribution of Fouad Bacher and Lanoir Maaloul in some of the data acquisition.
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