This paper reports on plasma surface etching of three different polymers using a low-temperature (80°C) atmospheric-pressure plasma generated in pure hydrogen by a diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge. Flexible polymer foils were plasma-modified in roll-to-roll configuration. Three polymers, polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polyimide (PI) foils were exhibited to the hydrogen plasma etching. Scanning electron microscopy was used to determine the change in the thickness of the samples from the measurement of cross-section images of polymer foils. As shown, the etching rate of tested samples was of the order of ~10–100 nm.min-1. Therefore, the presented method is suitable for precise etching of nanostructures and thin polymer film or flexible polymer substrates.Keywords: plasma etching, DCSBD, hydrogen, polymers, atmospheric pressure
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