Plasma and ion beams are considered tools that can improve existing materials or create new materials. Their technology is widely used to alter the surface properties of polymers without affecting their bulk properties. The treated polymers have found various applications in microelectronics, biomedical and chemical industries. In this work, the use of Argon plasma and Argon ions produced from cold cathode ion source as a method for the morphology and wettability of Semi crystalline polyethylene terephtalate (PET) foils are investigated. A cold cathode ion source was used as a preparation tool of the surface of polyethylene terephthalate PET polymer substrate to be ready for various applications as coating or thin film deposition. Argon ions of 1.5 keV are produced from the cold cathode ion source with an operating gas pressure of 2 × 10-4 mbar. The induced effects in the structure, surface morphology, and surface wettability were investigated by means of the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and by the contact angle methods, respectively. The change in the contact angle on PET as a function of Argon plasma time and ion beam fluence was also studied. Changes in surface free energy of polymer surface after Argon plasma irradiation were observed.
Key words: Cold cathode ion source, Argon plasma and ion beams, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foils.
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