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A comparison of reactive plasma pre-treatments on PET substrates by Cu and Ti pulsed-DC and HIPIMS discharges

Audronis, M, Hinder, SJ, Mack, P, Bellido-Gonzalez, V, Bussey, D, Matthews, A and Baker, MA (2011) A comparison of reactive plasma pre-treatments on PET substrates by Cu and Ti pulsed-DC and HIPIMS discharges Thin Solid Films, 520 (5). 1564 - 1570. ISSN 0040-6090

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Abstract

PET web samples have been treated by magnetically enhanced glow discharges powered using either medium frequency pulse direct current (p-DC) or low frequency high power pulse (HIPIMS) sources. The plasma pre-treatment processes were carried out in an Ar–O2 atmosphere using either Cu or Ti sputter targets. XPS, AFM and sessile drop water contact angle measurements have been employed to examine changes in surface chemistry and morphology for different pre-treatment process parameters. Deposition of metal oxide onto the PET surface is observed as a result of the sputter magnetron-based glow discharge web treatment. Using the Cu target, both the p-DC and HIPIMS processes result in the formation of a thin CuO layer (with a thickness between 1 and 11 nm) being deposited onto the PET surface. Employing the Ti target, both p-DC and HIPIMS processes give rise to a much lower concentration of Ti (< 5 at.%), in the form of TiO2 on the PET treated surface. The TiO2 is probably distributed as an island-like distribution covering the PET surface. Presence of Cu and Ti oxide constituents on the treated PET is beneficial in aiding the adhesion but alone (i.e. without oxygen plasma activation) is not enough to provide very high levels of hydrophilicity as is clear from sessile drop water contact angle measurements on aged samples. Exposure to the plasma treatments leads to a small amount of roughening of the substrate surface, but the average surface roughness in all cases is below 2.5 nm. The PET structure at the interface with a coating is mostly or wholly preserved. The oxygen plasma treatment, metal oxide deposition and surface roughening resulting from the HIPIMS and p-DC treatments will promote adhesion to any subsequent thin film that is deposited immediately following the plasma treatment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Thin Solid Films. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Thin Solid Films, 520(5), December 2011, DOI 10.1016/j.tsf.2011.09.011 .
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2011 11:26
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:48
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/7519

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