Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Improved barrier properties of organic-inorganic nano-composite coatings on plastic films obtained via aerosol assisted atmospheric plasma deposition of sol-gel systems

Sol-gel systems, obtained via wet-chemical hydrolysis of hybrid organic-inorganic precursors, were atomised and introduced in an atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge (DBD). Coatings deposited on BOPP and Arylite films were analysed by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and tested for their oxygen barrier properties. Plasma assisted coating deposition of the sol-gel systems proved to be convincingly superior to wet-chemical application and conventional thermal or UV curing.

While wet-chemical application typically resulted in coating thickness of 10 to 30 micron, the atmospheric plasma depositions where 0.7 to 3 micron thick. Although the layer thickness was roughly 10 times less, the barrier performance against oxygen migration was for some hybrid sol-gel systems more then 10 times better.
This clearly indicates that plasma curing of aerosol droplets of hybrid sol-gel precursor solutions prior and during deposition on a substrate surface is advantageous to conventional wet-chemical coating and subsequent thermal or UV curing. Due to the high surface area of the atomised sol and the extremely reactive plasma environment, increased cross-linking takes place. This results in faster curing and better barrier properties of the obtained coatings.

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