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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8010077

New Insights in the Ion Beam Sputtering Deposition of ZnO-Fluoropolymer Nanocomposites

1
Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, via E. Orabona 4, Bari 70126, Italy
2
Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”, via Amendola 173, Bari 70126, Italy
3
INFN-Sezione di Bari, via E. Orabona 4, Bari 70126, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 31 December 2017 / Published: 9 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Nanotechnology and Applied Nanosciences)
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Abstract

Surface modification treatments able to confer antistain/antibacterial properties to natural or synthetic materials are receiving increasing attention among scientists. Ion beam co-sputtering (IBS) of zinc oxide (ZnO) and poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) targets allows for the preparation of novel multifunctional coatings composed of antimicrobial ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) finely dispersed in an antistain PTFE polymeric matrix. Remarkably, IBS has been proved to be successful in the controlled deposition of thin nanocoatings as an alternative to wet methods. Moreover, tuning IBS deposition parameters allows for the control of ZnONP loadings, thus modulating the antibacterial/antistain coating’s final properties. All the deposited coatings were fully characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in order to obtain information on the materials’ surface composition, with deep insight into the nanocoatings’ morphology as a function of the ZnONP loadings. An analysis of high-resolution XP spectra evidenced a high degree of polymer defluorination along with the formation of inorganic fluorides at increasing ZnO volume ratios. Hence, post-deposition treatments for fluorides removal, performed directly in the deposition chamber, were successfully developed and optimized. In this way, a complete stoichiometry for inorganic nanophases was obtained, allowing for the conversion of fluorides into ZnO. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO; nanoantimicrobials; ion beam sputtering; fluoropolymer; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; atomic force microscopy ZnO; nanoantimicrobials; ion beam sputtering; fluoropolymer; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; atomic force microscopy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sportelli, M.C.; Valentini, M.; Picca, R.A.; Milella, A.; Nacci, A.; Valentini, A.; Cioffi, N. New Insights in the Ion Beam Sputtering Deposition of ZnO-Fluoropolymer Nanocomposites. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 77.

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