Langmuir, Vol.32, No.3, 651-654, 2016
Suppression of Hydrophobic Recovery by Plasma Polymer Films with Vertical Chemical Gradients
Vertical chemical gradients extending over a few nanometers were explored. The gradients are based on plasma polymerized oxygen-containing ethylene (ppOEt) films. Using plasma conditions with low CO2/C2H4 ratio and high energy input, cross-linked films were deposited as base layer, while increasing CO2 and lowering energy input resulted in less cross-linked yet highly functional films as applied as top layer. Aging studies indicate that, in particular, for very thin gradient structures, the cross-linked subsurface zone effectively hinders reorientation of the surface functional groups, thus restricting hydrophobic recovery and oxidation effects.