The effect of ionic strength and pH on the structure of hydrated plasma polymerized films of allylamine (ppAAm) and acrylic acid (ppAAc) has been analyzed in situ using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation techniques, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, ellipsomtery, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Both materials showed a salt concentration and pH dependent uptake and release of water and ions. Depending on the type of monomer used, the effects showed reversible or non-reversible behavior. The investigation of the electrochemical properties of the film further revealed a non-homogeneous structure, especially in the case of ppAAc films, with regions of higher and lower cross-linking density. The use of complimentary techniques to characterize the films in situ allowed for a deeper understanding of processes happening inside the plasma polymerized films, which can help to optimize film preparation conditions for selected applications.
- acrylic acid
- electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
- plasma polymer
- quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation