Faculty of Mathematics, Physics
and Informatics
Comenius University in Bratislava

SURFACE FUNCTIONALIZATION OF POLYMERS USING PLASMA GENERATED IN LIQUIDS

The main goal of the project is design, construction and application of electric discharge generated in liquid environment on the functionalization of the surface of polymer materials


28. 02. 2018 09.58 hod.
By: Veronika Medvecká

Principal investigator: doc. RNDr. Anna Zahoranová, PhD.
Cooperating investigators: Mgr. Dušan Kováčik, PhD., RNDr. Veronika Medvecká, PhD., RNDr. Hergelová Beáta, Mgr. Ľubomír Staňo, Mgr. Samuel Omasta
Project funding: Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, VEGA 1/0930/17
Project duration: January 2017-December 2019

Currently, there is an increasing importance of the polymer materials in a variety of applications requiring surface modification (permanent hydrophilicity, antibacterial treatment and immobilization of functional groups). It is not an easy task due to the thermo-sensitive nature of the material. The non-equilibrium plasma source based on a high voltage pulsed diaphragm discharge in a liquid medium is an alternative method for treatment of the polymers surfaces. The grafting of the functional groups with the desired properties on the polymer surface at different conditions of plasma generated in the liquid medium will be studied by modern diagnostic methods. At the same time the physical mechanism of the discharge in the liquids will be studied. New methods of plasma surface treatment of polymer materials will enable their application in many fields of textile, automotive, building and energy industry as functional and technical textiles, filtration and transfer media, membranes and separators.

Scientific goals for the project: 

  1. Study of the breakdown mechanisms and plasma generation by the electric pulsed diaphragm discharge in a liquid medium using electrical and optical measurements.
  2. Study of the changes on the surface of the polymeric material treated by non-equilibrium plasma generated in the liquid medium using suitable surface diagnostic methods. Verification of efficiency of appropriate functional groups grafting on the polymer surface.
  3. Experimental validation of the plasma-treated porous polymer material as an inter-electrode separator in single-cell alkaline electrolyser in a long-term test, wherein the resistivity of the separator and the level of cross-contamination in the production of hydrogen and oxygen will be examined.
  4. Processing, analysing and publishing the obtained results in international scientific journals, presenting them at conferences and symposiums both at home and abroad. Exploitation the results in the learning process of students in the form of a master's and dissertation thesis.