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Functional properties of plasma polymer coatings deposited using a hollow cathode arc discharge based PECVD process

: Top, Michiel

Groningen, 2018, 154 pp.
Groningen, Univ., Diss., 2018
ISBN: 978-94-034-0874-3
Fraunhofer FEP ()
thin film; plasma; coating; Barriere

Flexible, light-weight and low-cost are three driving properties that boosted the application of polymer films into numerous applications. Even though the main development and industrialization only took place within the last century, polymer films play an important role in our daily life. In 2014, the world production of plastic was estimated around 311 million tons. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine many large industries, including the food packaging industry, car industry and consumer electronics industry, without plastics. Even though plastic films combine these great properties of being flexible, light-weight and general low-cost, they have many material properties that limit their application. Polymer films show low thermal stability and inferior mechanical performance compared to glass or metals. A major drawback in the food packaging and organic electronic industry is the high permeability of water vapor and oxygen through the film leading to reduced lifetimes of e.g. packed food or flexible organic electronic devices. The functionality of polymer films is often modified or improved by the application of thin coatings (usually below 1 μm) using thin film deposition techniques like sputtering, evaporation or Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD). PECVD became a designation for a collection of coating technologies that use a plasma to initiate a chemical reaction between volatile and reactive compounds in order to generate a non-volatile compound on top of a substrate. Compared to thermal CVD where there action is thermally activated, PECVD uses the plasma while keeping the Chapter 12 substrate at a low temperature allowing the usage in fields where low temperature deposition is required, e.g. organic electronics and sensor actuator industry.