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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 February 2011
A surface of thin square PTFE samples (1×1×0.2 cm3) was irradiated with Ar+ ion at 1 keV with varying ion dose from 5 x 1014 to 1 x 1017 ions/cm2 with and without oxygen environment. The chemical structure of the surface was examined by XPS. The high resolution XPS spectra showed decreased intensity of the Fls peak and formation of the Ol s peak when irradiated with O2 environment. The Ols peak reached the maximum height at the ion dose of 1 x l015 ions/cm2. The increase of the Ols peak may be attributed to the reaction of oxygen atoms and the free radicals created by Ar+ bombardment. Adhesion tests were conducted on 2000 Å thick Al or Cu film which was evaporated on the irradiated and unirradiated PTFE samples with and without O2 environment. Full detachment of the metal films was observed when PTFE samples were not modified. With regard to the Al film, partial detachment of the film occurred when PTFE was irradiated without O2 environment, regardless of ion dose. No detachment of the film occurred when PTFE was irradiated with O2 environment with the ion dose exceeding 1 x 1016 ions/cm2. As to the Cu film, partial detachment was observed with or without O2 environment when the ion dose was 5 x 1014 ions/cm2. No detachment occurred with or without O2 environment when the ion dose was 1 x 1015 ions/cm2 or greater. The adhesion of an adhesive (Crystal Bond) to the irradiated PTFE samples was found to increase significantly with increasing ion dose up to 1 x 1016 ions/cm2 in tensile tests. It appears that three separate mechanisms are at work in improving adhesion of Cu/PTFE and Al/PTFE system. The first is the surface roughness of PTFE caused by Ar+ bombardment, the second is the chemical changes on the PTFE surface, and the third is a change of the interface between the metal and PTFE. The wettability of the PTFE surface was also determined by dropping water droplets on the modified surfaces. The contact angle between water droplets and the irradiated surface of PTFE samples decreased with ion dose up to 1 x 1015ions/cm2, increased at higher dose, and finally increased to the extent that no wetting was possible at 1 x 1017 ions/cm2. The PTFE samples irradiated with Ar+ without O2 gas environment had lower contact angle than those with O2, even though the samples with O2 developed hydrophilic groups on the irradiated surface. This result on wettability is not consistent with our earlier results on PMMA and PC and is due to the unusually high level of surface roughness of PTFE caused by Ar+ bombardment.
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