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Structure and Stability of C:H:O Plasma Polymer Films Co-Polymerized Using Dimethyl Carbonate

1
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland
2
Institute for Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
3
Department of Macromolecular Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, 18000 Prague, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plasma 2018, 1(1), 156-176; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma1010015
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
C:H:O plasma polymer films (PPFs) were deposited by means of plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition using the non-toxic, biodegradable organic compound dimethyl carbonate (DMC) at various plasma powers and pressures in order to control the degradation properties related to the carbonate ester group. Coating properties using pure DMC monomer vapours were compared to co-polymerized films from gaseous mixtures of DMC with either ethylene (C2H4) or carbon dioxide (CO2) affecting deposition rate and chemical composition. C:H:O film properties were found to depend primarily on the amount of oxygen in the plasma. To investigate the PPF stability during aging, changes in the composition and properties were studied during their storage both in air and in distilled water over extended periods up to 5 months. It was shown that aging of the films is mostly due to oxidation of the plasma polymer matrix yielding slow degradation and decomposition. The aging processes and their rate are dependent on the intrinsic amount of oxygen in the as-prepared C:H:O films which in turn depends on the experimental conditions and the working gas mixture. Adjustable film properties were mainly attained using a pure DMC plasma considering both gas phase and surface processes. It is thus possible to prepare C:H:O PPFs with controllable degradability both in air and in water. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; chemical composition; degradability; plasma polymerization; thin films aging; chemical composition; degradability; plasma polymerization; thin films
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Drabik, M.; Lohmann, D.; Hanus, J.; Shelemin, A.; Rupper, P.; Biederman, H.; Hegemann, D. Structure and Stability of C:H:O Plasma Polymer Films Co-Polymerized Using Dimethyl Carbonate. Plasma 2018, 1, 156-176.

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