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Cold Gas Plasma Surface Modification

SpecialChem / Apr 19, 2011

Polymeric and elastomeric substrates can often be extremely challenging to achieve robust bonding adhesion strength to like or dissimilar materials. This article describes "Low Pressure Cold Gas Plasma" surface modification as one type of process that can resolve many three-dimensional bonding problems through plasma chemical surface activation and functionalization. Plasmas can be conceptualized as a fourth state of matter. In comparison to atmospheric (air) surface pretreatment methods, "low pressure cold gas plasma" surface modification is conducted in an enclosed evacuated chamber. Cold gas plasma process modifies non-wettable hydrophobic surfaces to bondable hydrophilic wettable surfaces via chemical and physical mechanisms. Unique to the cold gas plasma is that it can successfully pretreat PTFE. The degree or quality of pretreatment for strong adhesion strength is affected by the cleanliness of the plastic/elastomeric surfaces. A key application is to coat the insides of plastic and glass tubes and containers with a quartz-like material that acts as a barrier to leachables and prevents breakage.

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