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Plasma surface treatment is a process that raises the surface energy of many materials to improve their characteristics.
In many cases this process is the standard treatment for materials such as: plastic polymers, papers, films, glass,
and even metals for many different purposes such as: cleaning, coating, printing, painting, and adhesive bonding.
plasma comes into contact with the surface can transfer its additional energy and promote reactions that take place on the material surface.
The altered surface chemistry is then suitable for several applications.
Plasma can be considered a complex chemical reactor where gas and/or monomer and the substrate react following different reaction pathways,
depending on the plasma operating conditions.
The effect on the substrate is therefore directly correlated with the used process conditions,
as showed for Teflon surface treatment:
First effect of plasma surface treatment is the modification of material morphology by increasing its surface roughness.
This effect is called “etching phenomenon”.
Plasma etchers can operate in several modes by adjusting the parameters.
In fact, plasma produces energetic free radicals, neutrally charged, that can react and impact on the surface
of the material and produce physical modification.
Plasma treatment can also introduce new functional groups on exposed surface of the treated material.
The chemical characteristic of the bonded group on the surface material is important for the final
characteristic of the material at the interface.
The type of used gas directs the chemistry reaction
and determines the type of inserted new functional group.
Monomer and/or organic precursors with high volatile property are important reactive compounds
for thin layer deposition and graft-polymerization/cross-linking processes.
The number and the property of the chemistry compound used in the reactor chamber drive the
chemistry and structure of the resulting coating.
Plasma is also used for air treatment and pollution abatement.
In this case, the energy of plasma is transferred to the gaseous contaminants,
provoking their decomposition and fragmentation.
Again, plasma operating conditions
drive the chemistry of decomposition and determine the type of output molecules.