Structure and surface properties of plasma polymerized acrylic acid layers



Thin plasma polymerized layers of acrylic acid (PPAA) were deposited onto polyethylene and muscovite mica surfaces. Structure and surface properties of the deposited layer depend on the polymerization conditions. The content of carboxylic groups in the layer decreases, whereas the degree of crosslinking or branching increases, with increasing discharge power. A soft, sticky layer with a low contact angle against water is obtained when a low discharge power (5 W) is used. In contrast, a hard film with a rather high water contact angle is obtained when the discharge power is high (50 W). A surface force apparatus was employed to study some film properties including adhesion force, crack formation, and capillary condensation. The adhesion force between plasma polymerized acrylic acid layers prepared at a low discharge power is high in dry air. It decreases remarkably in humid air and no adhesion is observed in water. In dry air, the adhesion force between PPAA layers decreases as the discharge power increases.