An XPS study of pulsed plasma polymerised allyl alcohol film growth on polyurethane

Lucy Watkins, Alexander Bismarck, Adam F. Lee, Darren Wilson, Karen Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth of highly functionalised poly allyl alcohol films by pulsed plasma polymerisation of CH2 double bond; length as m-dashCHCH2OH on biomedical grade polyurethane has been followed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurements. Film thickness is observed to increase approximately linearly with plasma modification time, suggesting a layer-by-layer growth mode of poly allyl alcohol. Water contact angle measurements reveal the change in the surface free energy of wetting decreases linearly with plasma modification up to the monolayer point after which a constant limiting value of −24 mJ m−2 was attained. Films prepared at 20 W plasma power with a duty cycle of 10 μs:500 μs exhibit a high degree of hydroxyl (single bondOH) retention with minimal fragmentation of the monomer observed. Increasing the plasma power up to 125 W is found to improve single bondOH retention at the expense of ether formation generating films close to the monomer stoichiometry. Duty cycle plays an important role in controlling both film composition and thickness, with longer off times increasing single bondOH retention, while longer on times enhance allyl alcohol film growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8203-8211
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number23
Early online date7 Dec 2005
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2006


  • pulsed plasma polymerisation
  • allyl alcohol
  • biomaterials
  • thin films
  • polyurethane
  • XPS
  • contact angle


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