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Changing Contents of Carbon Hybridizations in Amorphous Hydrogenated Carbon Layers (a-C:H) on Sustainable Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) Exhibit a Significant Deterioration in Stability, Depending on Thickness

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Department of Physics, University Koblenz-Landau, 56070 Koblenz, Germany
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Department of Material Analysis, RheinAhrCampus, University of Applied Sciences Koblenz, 53424 Remagen, Germany
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Materials Science and Nano-Engineering Department, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Dedicated to Professor Stefan Wehner on the occasion of his 50th birthday.
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 22 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 30 August 2019
PHB is a biodegradable polymer based on renewable raw materials that could replace synthetic polymers in many applications. A big advantage is the resulting reduction of the waste problem, as well as the conservation of fossil resources. To arrange it for various applications, the surface is arranged by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with amorphous hydrogenated carbon layers (a-C:H). Here, on a 50 µm thick PHB-foil, a-C:H layers of different thicknesses (0–500 nm) were deposited in 50 nm steps. Surface topography was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), chemical composition by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy and wettability checked by contact angle. In addition, layers were examined by synchrotron supported X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS), which revealed thickness dependent changes of the sp2/sp3 ratio. With increasing thickness, even the topography changes show internal, stress-induced phenomena. The results obtained provide a more detailed understanding of the predominantly inorganic a-C:H coatings on (bio)polymers via in situ growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: acetylene plasma; incremental a-C:H deposition; synchrotron based surface techniques; sp2/sp3 content evaluation; chemical environment survey; stress release phenomena acetylene plasma; incremental a-C:H deposition; synchrotron based surface techniques; sp2/sp3 content evaluation; chemical environment survey; stress release phenomena
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schlebrowski, T.; Beucher, L.; Bazzi, H.; Hahn, B.; Wehner, S.; Fischer, C.B. Changing Contents of Carbon Hybridizations in Amorphous Hydrogenated Carbon Layers (a-C:H) on Sustainable Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) Exhibit a Significant Deterioration in Stability, Depending on Thickness. C 2019, 5, 52.

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