Nanoscale deposition of chemically functionalised films via plasma polymerisation
Plasma polymerisation is a technologically important surface engineering process capable of depositing ultra-thin functionalised films for a variety of purposes. It has many advantages over other surface engineering processes, including that it is completely dry, can be used for complex geometries, and the physico-chemical properties of the film can be tailored through judicious choice of processing conditions. Despite this, the mechanisms of film growth are largely unknown, and current models are based on purely chemical arguments. Consideration of some basic plasma physics shows that some species can arrive at surfaces with energies greater than 1000 kJ mol−1 (>10 eV), and thus open a range of surface reactions that have not been considered previously. This review aims to close the gap between the physics and chemistry of reactive plasma systems.