Plasma Processes and Polymers vol:4 issue:2 pages:145-157
Plasma coating technologies have been demonstrated as being promising for the fabrication of bioactive and biocompatible materials, among others. Reported efforts are exclusively focused on the two-step approaches, in which the bioactive component is first immobilized on a substrate, followed by a (vacuum) plasma polymerization treatment or vice versa. However, we believe that upon minimizing the plasma energy, numerous bioactive substances such as enzymes and nucleic acids can be immobilized directly in plasmas via copolymerization with organic precursors, or by direct entrapment in the organic polymer. Therefore, a dielectric barrier discharge was employed at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature to deposit organic coatings with reasonable growth rates at power input and frequency values as low as possible. Two promising precursurs, acetylene and pyrrole, were selected out of 22 organic monomers for full physicochemical characterization. While the acetylene polymer film shows resemblance with its vacuum plasma analogue, polypyrrole coatings produced in vacuum and atmospheric plasmas differ significantly.