Damien Thiry, University of Mons, Mons, Belgium
Since the eighties, functionalized plasma polymer films attract a considerable attention owing to their potential in a wide range of applications. For such materials, controlling the chemistry of the coatings by a clever choice of the process parameters represents the main challenge. Through the years, it became quickly obvious that, in view of the complexity of the growth mechanism, a fine control of the layer properties can only be reached by understanding, at a fundamental level, the mechanistic formation of the layers. In this context, a detailed comprehensive study of the plasma chemistry is therefore of crucial importance as the numerous interlinked chemical reactions occurring in the discharge govern the film properties. In this presentation, we review our recent efforts to contribute towards a better understanding of the plasma polymerization chemistry by using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools such as Mass Spectrometry and in-situ Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. In addition, we describe how theoretical calculations based on Density Functional Theory (DFT) can help for a better understanding of the acquired data.