Confocal Microscopy Studies for Plasma Surface Modified Films and Fibers

Report No. ARL-TR-4004
Authors: Donovan Harris; Daphne Pappas
Date/Pages: December 2006; 28 pages
Abstract: The focus of this work is plasma-treated Nylon 6 films and woven fabrics characterization by a confocal laser scanning microscope. The purposes of these efforts were the preliminary characterization of vendor-treated materials prior to equipment installation and the evaluation of instrumentation capability to provide the data required in a time-effective manner. Brief technical discussions of the atmospheric plasma process and some of the resultant surface chemistries are presented in conjunction with the observed topological changes and related characterization issues. Results reveal that after exposure to helium nitrogen and helium acetylene plasmas under atmospheric pressure, polymer surface modification is achieved and carbonyl and hydroxyl groups are grafted. Moreover, the surface morphology changes, and rougher surfaces are created. These effects result in enhancement of the surface energy of the treated polymers and therefore can be used in composite systems with success. The work proves that there is a need for better correlation between the atomic force microscopy and the confocal laser scanning microscopy when working with similar materials and processes.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2006