Recent research demonstrating plasma treatment of powders ‎with in-line plasma

Plasma treatment of powders

Feature Article - Plasma treatmnent of powders

Great article on the recent research demonstrating plasma treatment of powders ‎with in-line plasma

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Atmospheric Plasma Surface Modification of PMMA and PP Micro-Particles
Mary Gilliam,* Susan Farhat, Ali Zand, Barrack Stubbs, Michael Magyar, Graham Garner

Chemical surface modification of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polypropylene (PP) particles was achieved using a continuous atmospheric plasma process, resulting in increased oxidation and hydrophilicity. Contact angles of treated PMMA ranged from 79–1178 (1258 for untreated). Air plasma produced higher contact angles than pure nitrogen, which is attributed to primary surface degradation from oxygen. Higher energy and flow rate of water resulted in decreased contact angles. Treated PP mixed in water upon agitation, while untreated PP remained at the surface. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed increased C—O and C55O for treated samples. The addition of 10% hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA) to water showed a slight decrease in contact angle, but no difference from pure water in XPS results.

1. Introduction

Polymer micro-sized particles and spheres are widely used in paints and coatings, adhesives, composites, pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics, biotechnology, cosmetics, and more. [1–6]

Surface properties are often times important for the successful application of materials. Chemical modification on the surface of polymer particles can improve compatibility with surrounding media, such as hydrophilicity in aqueous media, or impart a desired functionality or surface property. For example, polymer microspheres, such as polystyrene, have been surface m odified for biomolecule attachment and used in optical tweezers for DNA manipulation. [5,6]

Surface functionalization through traditional chemical means, such as graft polymerization or exposure to reactive chemicals, is often time-intensive and produces significant amount of waste for disposal. Plasma discharges have been used for many decades to chemically modify the surfaces of polymers by surface functionalization as an effective process with little waste products. [7–12]

More recently, atmospheric, non-equilibrium plasmas have been applied for polymer surface modification. [13–17]

Plasma surface modification processes have been applied to rigid plastic parts, sheets, and films for purposes of increasing wettability, enhancing adhesion, and increasing compatibility with a chemical or contacting material in subsequent processes and the final application.

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Atmospheric Plasma Surface Modification of PMMA and PP Micro-Particles

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