This review summarizes the results of cold atmospheric pressure plasma technology application in polymers surface treatment. Attention is given to results of changes in the hydrophilic property of polymer surfaces by incorporation of polar functional groups when exposed to atmospheric pressure plasma, depending on the time of treatment, applied voltage, gas flow rate, and distance from the surface. We have successfully developed a plasma device that is able to generate cold atmospheric pressure argon plasma of low temperature (20 26) ° C downstream using a high-voltage power source which can be widely used in materials processing. Therefore, a cost-effective system of generating a plasma jet at atmospheric pressure with potential applications has been developed. Cold atmospheric pressure plasma jet (CAPPJ) has shown a lot of applications in recent years such as in materials processing, surface modification, and biomedical materials processing. CAPPJ has been generated by a high voltage (0-20 kV) and high frequency (20-30 kHz) power supply.
The discharge has been characterized by optical and electrical methods. In order to characterize cold atmospheric pressure argon plasma jet, its electron density, electron temperature, rotational temperature, and vibration temperature have been determined using the power balance method, intensity ratio method, Stark broadening method, and Boltzmann plot method, respectively. The improvement in hydrophilicity of the cold plasma-treated polymer samples was characterized by contact angle measurements, surface free energy analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Contact angle analysis showed that the discharge was effective in improving the wettability of polymers after the treatment. Furthermore, atmospheric plasma can be effectively used to remove surface contamination and to chemically modify different polymer surfaces. The chemical changes, especially oxidation and cross-linking, enhance the surface properties of the polymers.
Key words: Cold atmospheric pressure plasma technology (CAPPT), surface characterization, characterization of cold plasma discharge, rotational and vibrational temperatures, adhesion, wettability, polymers