Applied Surface Science, Vol.305, 554-561, 2014
Hydrophobicity enhancement of Al2O3 thin films deposited on polymeric substrates by atomic layer deposition with perfluoropropane plasma treatment
The optoelectronics devices such as organic light emitting diodes are greatly vulnerable to moisture, which reduces their functionality and life cycle. The Al203 thin films are mostly used as barrier coatings in such electronic devices to protect them from water vapors. The performance of the Al203 barrier films can be improved by enhancing their hydrophobicity. Greater the hydrophobicity of the barrier films, greater will be their protection against water vapors. This paper reports on the enhancement of hydrophobicity of Al203 thin films through perfluoropropane (C3 F8) plasma treatment. Firstly, good quality Al203 films have been fabricated through atomic layer deposition (ALD) on polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrates at different temperatures. The fabricated films are then plasma treated with C3 F8 to enhance their hydrophobicity. Hydrophobic Al203 thin films have shown good morphological and optical properties. Low average arithmetic roughness (Ra) of 1.90 nm, 0.93 nm and 0.88 nm have been recorded for the C3 F8 plasma treated films deposited at room temperature (RT), 50 C and 150 C, respectively. Optical transmittance of more than 90% has been achieved for the C3 F8 plasma treated films grown at 50 C and 150 C. The contact angle has been increased from 48 + 3 to 158 + 3 for the films deposited at RT and increased from 41 + 3 to 148 + 3 for the films deposited at 150 C. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.