Defluorination of Polytetrafluoroethylene Surface by Hydrogen Plasma

Alenka Vesel*, Dane Lojen, Rok Zaplotnik, Gregor Primc, Miran Mozetič, Jernej Ekar, Janez Kovač, Marija Gorjanc, Manja Kurečič, Karin Stana-Kleinschek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Defluorination of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) surface film is a suitable technique for tailoring its surface properties. The influence of discharge parameters on the surface chemistry was investigated systematically using radio-frequency inductively coupled H 2 plasma sustained in the E-and H-modes at various powers, pressures and treatment times. The surface finish was probed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The measurements of water contact angles (WCA) showed increased wettability of the pristine PTFE; however, they did not reveal remarkable modification in the surface chemistry of the samples treated at various discharge parameters. By contrast, the combination of XPS and ToF-SIMS, however, revealed important differences in the surface chemistry between the E-and H-modes. A well-expressed minimum in the fluorine to carbon ratio F/C as low as 0.2 was observed at the treatment time as short as 1 s when plasma was in the H-mode. More gradual surface chemistry was observed when plasma was in the E-mode, and the minimal achievable F/C ratio was about 0.6. The results were explained by the synergistic effects of hydrogen atoms and vacuum ultraviolet radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2855
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2020


  • Fluorine depletion
  • Hydrogen plasma
  • Hydrophilic
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Surface modification
  • VUV radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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