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Open AccessArticle

Surface Functionalization of Polyethylene Granules by Treatment with Low-Pressure Air Plasma

1
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Materials Engineering, Center of Advanced Aerospace Technology, Czech Technical University in Prague, Karlovo náměstí 13, 121 35 Praha 2, Czech Republic
2
Faculty of Mechatronics, Informatics and Interdisciplinary Studies, Technical University of Liberec, Studentská 1402/2, 461 17 Liberec 1, Czech Republic
3
Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(6), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11060885
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification to Improve Properties of Materials)
Polyethylene granules of diameter 2 mm were treated with a low-pressure weakly ionized air plasma created in a metallic chamber by a pulsed microwave discharge of pulse duration 180 μs and duty cycle 70%. Optical emission spectroscopy showed rich bands of neutral nitrogen molecules and weak O-atom transitions, but the emission from N atoms was below the detection limit. The density of O atoms in the plasma above the samples was measured with a cobalt catalytic probe and exhibited a broad peak at the pressure of 80 Pa, where it was about 2.3 × 1021 m−3. The samples were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Survey spectra showed oxygen on the surface, while the nitrogen concentration remained below the detection limit for all conditions. The high-resolution C1s peaks revealed formation of various functional groups rather independently from treatment parameters. The results were explained by extensive dissociation of oxygen molecules in the gaseous plasma and negligible flux of N atoms on the polymer surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyethylene granules; low-pressure MW air plasma; optical emission spectroscopy; XPS; laser cobalt catalytic probe polyethylene granules; low-pressure MW air plasma; optical emission spectroscopy; XPS; laser cobalt catalytic probe
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Šourková, H.; Primc, G.; Špatenka, P. Surface Functionalization of Polyethylene Granules by Treatment with Low-Pressure Air Plasma. Materials 2018, 11, 885.

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