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Amorphous carbon (a-C) films have a growing interest in the biological and medical field, as a coating material, due to their biocompatibility and antibacterial property. However, a-C films deposited directly on polymers often show adhesion failure.
In this paper, two types of a-C films, amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H) film and hydrogen-free a-C (H-free a-C) film were deposited on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) using a plasma deposition method. Prior to a-C film coating, the PTFE substrates were treated with Ar and O2 plasma and an appropriate interlayer was chosen to enhance the adhesion strength. The effect of the plasma pretreatment on the chemical composition of the PTFE was investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A T-peel test was carried out to evaluate the adhesion strength of the a-C coated PTFE. In the T-peel test, Ar plasma pretreatment improved the adhesion strength more effectively than that of O2 plasma pretreatment, because of the substantial defluorination and oxygen bonding occurred by Ar plasma pretreatment. Moreover, H-free a-C film reduced the numbers of Escherichia coli (E. coli) colonies dramatically, compared with original PTFE and a-C:H coated PTFE. Consequently, H-free a-C film coating can be a promising method to inhibit the increase of bacteria.
Silicon-based films have gained much interest as protective coatings for transparent polymeric materials. In this study, SiOC(–H) thin films were deposited on polycarbonate (PC) or Si substrates from trimethylsilane (TrMS) gas diluted with He gas by atmospheric pressure plasma enhanced CVD (AP-PECVD) method with varying substrate temperature, and transparency and hardness of the films were investigated. The films exhibited a good optical transparency with an optical transmittance of about 90% irrespective of the substrate temperature, and the hardness increased from 0.6 to 1.3 GPa as the substrate temperature increased from 60 to 140°C. The results are discussed in terms of chemical structural changes in the films according to the substrate temperature.
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