Atmospheric-pressure air and nitrogen plasmas generated by surface dielectric barrier discharges have been used to incorporate new functionalities at the surface of polypropylene nonwoven fabric. The main goals were to activate the polymer surfaces for subsequent immobilization of chitosan from water solution without using any crosslinking and wetting agents. The samples were analyzed by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The nitrogen plasma treatment resulted in relatively high oxygen incorporation, about 9 atomic % mainly in aliphatic C=O type bonds and about 4 at.% of nitrogen incorporation in amine and other nitrogen functionalities. Chitosan was immobilized on the fabric fibers surfaces very homogeneously in amount of 2 - 5 g m-2. The chitosan coated samples exhibited a good laundering durability and strong antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.