Effect of Titanium Oxide Nanoparticle Incorporation into nm Thick Coatings Deposited Using an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma
This study reports on the use of an atmospheric plasma technique to incorporate metal oxide nanoparticles into nm thick siloxane coatings. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles with diameters of 30–80 nm, were mixed with a number of different siloxanes—polydimethylsiloxane, hexamethyldisiloxane and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS). The TiO2/TEOS mixture was found to give the most stable suspension, possibly due to the higher surface tension of TEOS compared with the other siloxanes. TiO2/TEOS mixtures with 2 to 10% by weight of the metal oxide were prepared and were then nebulised into a helium/oxygen atmospheric plasma. Polyethylene terepthalate (PET) and silicon wafer substrates were passed through this plasma using a reel-to-reel substrate manipulation system. SEM combined with EDX was used to examine the distribution of the metal oxide particles in the resultant coatings. The TEOS coating thickness without TiO2 addition was 9 nm. The composite coating consisted of a relatively homogeneous distribution of small agglomerates of the TiO2 nanoparticles in TEOS. A linear increase in the titanium surface concentration was observed with increase in the quantity of TiO2 added into the siloxane precursor. The chemical functionality of the siloxane coating was examined using FTIR spectroscopy and no significant spectrum differences was observed with the incorporation of the different concentrations of TiO2 into the polymer. There were also no changes observed in coating surface energy with TiO2 incorporation. Coating morphology was examined using optical profilometry and surface roughness (Ra) values increased from typical values of 0.8 nm for the TEOS coating to 4.1 nm for the TiO2/TEOS coating. The adhesion of the deposited coatings was compared using fragmentation tests. These were carried out through uniaxial tensile loading. The coating cracking pattern after applied strain of 20% was not observed to change significantly with the addition of TiO2 into the siloxane.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2010-04-01
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