Enhanced wetting and adhesion of polycarbonate by ultraviolet light surface treatment

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Journal Article
Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures, 2013, 8 (4), pp. 1415 - 1421
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In this study, polycarbonate (PC) surfaces were treated with ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation at different treatment times (0 to 48 h) and at two UV wavelengths, i.e., at 365 nm (UVA) and at 254 nm (UVC). Morphological and surface properties were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and contact angle (CA) measurements. To check the shear strength of the treated polycarbonates, single-lap shear test was carried out. Both UVA and UVC treatment produced rougher PC surface compared to untreated PC, however, UVA did not affect much the wettability of PC. But for UVC treatment, the CA of PC decreased with increasing treatment time to a maximum reduction of 23% after 48 h. The shear strength of UVC-treated PC increased by 63% than that of untreated PC, which is attributed to the formation of functional groups at the surface making it hydrophilic and the rougher surface topography that gives more surface area for adhesion.
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