Thin plasma polymerised coatings for corrosion protection against strong alkaline solutions

Jaritz, M. and Hopmann, C. and Wilski, S. and Kleines, L. and Rudolph, M. and Awakowicz, P. and Dahlmann, R.

Volume: 374 Pages: 232-241
DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2019.05.069
Published: 2019

Thin plasma polymers were applied on gold- and aluminium substrates using low pressure microwave- and radiofrequency-excited hexamethyldisilazane (HMDSN) plasma. The corrosion resistance properties of these coatings against sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) was characterised by means of time resolved electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and light microscopy. The evaluated resistance values were correlated with coating topography, chemical composition, wetting properties, and morphology with particular focus on porosity. Coating porosity was determined by using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and light microscopy. The topography and chemistry of the coatings were characterised by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The wetting properties were determined by optical contact angle (OCA) measurements. It is shown that the plasma polymer's resistance against NaOH can be greatly increased by lowering the energy input during the deposition process. This can be attributed to the strong correlation between porosity and resistivity: low energy input during plasma deposition leads to the formation of smaller and more uniform particles in the plasma bulk and possibly a Stranski–Krastanov growth of the layers, resulting in a smoother coating topography and lower nano-porosity. A more dense and compact coating morphology leads to a better corrosion protection performance. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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