Rapid Functionalization of Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) Surfaces with Nitrogen Functional Groups

Alenka Vesel*, Rok Zaplotnik, Gregor Primc, Miran Mozetic, Tadeja Katan, Rupert Kargl, Tamilselvan Mohan, Karin Stana Kleinschek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biocompatibility of body implants made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is inadequate; therefore, the surface should be grafted with biocompatible molecules. Because PTFE is an inert polymer, the adhesion of the biocompatible film may not be appropriate. Therefore, the PFTE surface should be modified to enable better adhesion, preferably by functionalization with amino groups. A two-step process for functionalization of PTFE surface is described. The first step employs inductively coupled hydrogen plasma in the H-mode and the second ammonia plasma. The evolution of functional groups upon treatment with ammonia plasma in different modes is presented. The surface is saturated with nitrogen groups within a second if ammonia plasma is sustained in the H-mode at the pressure of 35 Pa and forward power of 200 W. The nitrogen-rich surface film persists for several seconds, while prolonged treatment causes etching. The etching is suppressed but not eliminated using pulsed ammonia plasma at 35 Pa and 200 W. Ammonia plasma in the E-mode at the same pressure, but forward power of 25 W, causes more gradual functionalization and etching was not observed even at prolonged treatments up to 100 s. Detailed investigation of the XPS spectra enabled revealing the surface kinetics for all three cases
Original languageEnglish
Article number4301
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Amination
  • Biocompatibility
  • Etching
  • Plasma treatment
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Surface functionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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