The surface of cellulose films, obtained from micro nanofibrillated cellulose produced with different enzymatic pretreatment digestion times of refined pulp, was exposed to gas plasma, resulting in a range of surface chemical and morphological changes affecting the mechanical and surface interactional properties. The action of separate and dual exposure to oxygen and nitrogen cold dielectric barrier discharge plasma was studied with respect to the generation of roughness (confocal laser and atomic force microscopy), nanostructural and chemical changes on the cellulose film surface, and their combined effect on wettability. Elemental analysis showed that with longer enzymatic pretreatment time the wetting response was sensitive to the chemical and morphological changes induced by both plasma gases, but distinctly oxygen plasma was seen to induce much greater morphological change while nitrogen plasma contributed more to chemical modification of the film surface. In this novel study, it is shown that exposure to oxygen plasma, subsequently followed by exposure to nitrogen plasma, leads first to an increase in wetting, and second to more hydrophobic behaviour, thus improving, for example, suitability for printing using polar functional inks or providing film barrier properties, respectively.
- Micro nanofibrillated cellulose
- Plasma impact on surface cellulose structure
- Plasma‐induced chemical changes on cellulose
- Surface plasma exposure of cellulose
- Wettability of cellulose film