Oxidation of Polyethylene: A Comparison of Plasma and Ultraviolet Ozone Processing Techniques

Report No. ARL-TR-4701
Authors: Nicole Zander Daphne Pappas; Ben Stein
Date/Pages: January 2009; 22 pages
Abstract: Plasma and ultraviolet (UV) ozone treatments were compared as methods to functionalize ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene films in order to make them more compatible with materials or reactive for subsequent surface chemistry. Oxidation states and atomic compositions were determined using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, while surface energy and bond stability were probed with contact angle goniometry. Both modification techniques increased the surface energy of the polymer, and the bonds formed were found to be stable over a period of 30 days. Plasma treatment times were much shorter than UV ozone; thus, plasma was determined to be a more efficient surface modification technique.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2009