Achieving Nano-Scale Surface Structure on Wool Fabric by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Treatment

Chi Wai Kan, W. Y I Tsoi, C. W M Yuen, Tsan Ming Choi, T. B. Tang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) treatment is attracting increasing attention in industrial applications as it is potentially capable of continuous surface modification of a substrate. A comprehensive study of surface morphology and surface chemistry of wool fibres after plasma treatment with varying operational parameters (treatment time, ignition power, oxygen concentration, and jet distance) was conducted with helium and oxygen gas as carrier and reactive gas, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used for characterising the plasma-treated wool. APP could produce crystalline structures on wool cuticles which assist wicking and spreading of liquids. A complete wetting of wool fabric was observed after exposure to the plasma for a very short period. Experimental results revealed that the change in the wetting behaviour was caused by surface oxidation and cleavage of disulphide crosslinks of wool cuticles. APP treatment was found to be effective in achieving hydrophilisation of hydrophobic wool fibres. In addition, nano-scale surface modification was observed and thus improved hydrophilicity of wool fabric was achieved. The nano-scale surface structure was obtained with proper control of plasma treatment operational parameters. This study provides essential guidelines for manipulation of parameters for achieving nano-scale surface modification and desirable surface properties of wool fibres using plasma technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtmospheric Pressure Plasma Treatment of Polymers
Subtitle of host publicationRelevance to Adhesion
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781118596210
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013


  • Atmospheric pressure plasma
  • Nano-scale
  • Surface wetting
  • Wool fibre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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