Surface Modification of Synthetic Polymers Using UV Photochemistry in the Presence of Reactive Vapours



Polystyrene (PS), Polyurethane (PU), Polysulfone (PSU) and Polypropylene (PP) were surface modified using UV assisted treatment in the presence of acrylic acid (AA) vapour. In this context, PU and PSU were also modified using vapour of trimethoxy propyl silane (TMPSi). The surface changes were characterized by water contact angle measurement, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy – Attenuated total reflection and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Permanent hydrophilic surface was obtained by UV assisted treatment in the presence of AA vapour on all polymers studied. After 65 days of treatment, the polymer surfaces had the original degree of hydrophilicity as obtained immediately after treatment. By using vapour of TMPSi with UV radiation, the surface hydrophobicity of PU and PSU was increased after thermal treatment. The surface modification methodology used was simple and did not require any extensive set-up compared to traditional surface modification techniques.