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"Soft and rigid" dithiols and Au nanoparticles grafting on plasma-treated polyethyleneterephthalate

Václav Švorčík1*, Zdeňka Kolská2, Ondřej Kvítek1, Jakub Siegel1, Alena Řezníčková1, Pavel Řezanka3 and Kamil Záruba3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Solid State Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, 16628 Prague, Czech Republic

2 Department of Chemistry, J. E. Purkyně University, 40096 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

3 Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemical Technology, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:607  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-607

Published: 25 November 2011


Surface of polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) was modified by plasma discharge and subsequently grafted with dithiols (1, 2-ethanedithiol (ED) or 4, 4'-biphenyldithiol) to create the thiol (-SH) groups on polymer surface. This "short" dithiols are expected to be fixed via one of -SH groups to radicals created by the plasma treatment on the PET surface. "Free" -SH groups are allowed to interact with Au nanoparticles. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and electrokinetic analysis (EA, zeta potential) were used for the characterization of surface chemistry of the modified PET. Surface morphology and roughness of the modified PET were studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results from XPS, FTIR, EA and AFM show that the Au nanoparticles are grafted on the modified surface only in the case of biphenyldithiol pretreatment. The possible explanation is that the "flexible" molecule of ethanedithiol is bounded to the activated PET surface with both -SH groups. On the contrary, the "rigid" molecule of biphenyldithiol is bounded via only one -SH group to the modified PET surface and the second one remains "free" for the consecutive chemical reaction with Au nanoparticle. The gold nanoparticles are distributed relatively homogenously over the polymer surface.

PET; plasma treatment; dithiols and gold nanoparticles grafting; XPS; FTIR; zeta potential; AFM