Mechanism of the immobilization of surfactants on polymeric surfaces by means of an argon plasma treatment: influence of the chemical structure of surfactant substrate

J.P. Lens, J.P. Lens, J.G.A. Terlingen, J.G.A. Terlingen, G.H.M. Engbers, Jan Feijen

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In this article, a study on the mechanism of the immobilization of surfactants on polymeric surfaces by means of an argon plasma treatment is described. The unsaturated surfactant sodium 10-undecenoate [C11(:)] and the saturated surfactant sodium dodecanoate (C12) were immobilized on poly(ethylene) (PE), poly(propylene) (PP), and poly(cis-butadiene) (PB) surfaces. This was accomplished by treating polymeric substrates that were coated with C11(:) or C12 with an argon plasma. Derivatization X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Static Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SSIMS) showed that during the plasma treatment surfactants were covalently coupled to the polymeric surfaces. The chemical structure of both the surfactant and the polymeric substrate influenced the immobilization efficiency. At an optimal treatment time of 5 s, about 28 and 6% of the initial amount of carboxylate groups in the precoated C11(:) and C12 layer, respectively, was retained at the PE surface. The immobilization efficiencies of C11(:) and C12 on PP were about 20 and 9%, respectively. The immobilization efficiency of C11(:) and C12 on PB were both about 7%. The results obtained in this study indicate that the immobilization proceeds via a radical mechanism.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1829-1846
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of polymer science. Part A: Polymer chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • METIS-106369
  • IR-71469
  • carboxylic acid groups
  • Polypropylene
  • Poly(ethylene)
  • Surface modification
  • poly(cis-butadiene)
  • XPS
  • argon plasma treatment

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