Tribological interaction between polytetrafluoroethylene and silicon oxide surfaces
The Journal of Chemical Physics
AIP Publishing LLC
164702-1 - 164702-6
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We investigated the tribological interaction between polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and silicon oxide surfaces. A simple rig was designed to bring about a friction between the surfaces via sliding a piece of PTFE on a thermally oxidized silicon wafer specimen. A very mild inclination (∼0.5°) along the sliding motion was also employed in order to monitor the tribological interaction in a gradual manner as a function of increasing contact force. Additionally, some patterns were sketched on the silicon oxide surface using the PTFE tip to investigate changes produced in the hydrophobicity of the surface, where the approximate water contact angle was 45° before the transfer. The nature of the transferred materials was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XPS results revealed that PTFE was faithfully transferred onto the silicon oxide surface upon even at the slightest contact and SEM images demonstrated that stable morphological changes could be imparted onto the surface. The minimum apparent contact pressure to realize the PTFE transfer is estimated as 5 kPa, much lower than reported previously. Stability of the patterns imparted towards many chemical washing processes lead us to postulate that the interaction is most likely to be chemical. Contact angle measurements, which were carried out to characterize and monitor the hydrophobicity of the silicon oxide surface, showed that upon PTFE transfer the hydrophobicity of the SiO2 surface could be significantly enhanced, which might also depend upon the pattern sketched onto the surface. Contact angle values above 100° were obtained.