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Hydrophobic plasma polymerized hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) thin film

Hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) plasma polymerized thin films obtained using low frequency power supplies can be used to make adsorbent films and turn surfaces hydrophobic. The aim of this work was to verify the hydrophobicity and adsorption properties of HMDS thin films (with and without the addition of oxygen, resulting in double or single layer films) obtained using an inductive reactor powered with a 13.56 MHz power supply. Single and double layer thin films were deposited on silicon for film characterization, polypropylene (PP) for ultraviolet (UVA/UVC) resistance tests, piezoelectric quartz crystal for adsorption tests. The double layer (intermixing) of HMDS plasma polymerized films and HMDS plasma oxidized surfaces showed a non-continuous layer. The films showed good adhesion to all substrates. Infrared analysis showed the presence of CHn, SiCH3, SiNSi and SiCH2Si within the films. Contact angle measurements with water showed hydrophobic surfaces. UVA/UVC exposure of the films resulted in the presence of cross-linking on carbonic radicals and SiCH2Si formation, which resulted in a possible protection of PP against UVA/UVC for a duration of up to two weeks. Adsorption tests showed that all organic reactants were adsorbed but not water. Plasma etching (PE) using O2 showed that even after 15 minutes of exposure the films do not change their hydrophobic characteristic but were oxidized. The results point out that HMDS films can be used: for ultraviolet protection of flexible organic substrates, such as PP, for sensor and/or preconcentrator development, due to their adsorption properties, and in spatial applications due to resistance for O2 attack in hostile conditions, such as plasma etching.
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