Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Tailor-Made Silver Release Properties of Silver-Containing Functional Plasma Polymer Coatings Adjusted Through a Macroscopic Kinetics Approach

  • Enrico Körner
  • Barbara Hanselmann
  • Peter Cierniak
  • Dirk Hegemann
Original Paper


Combining a functional plasma polymer matrix with antibacterially active silver (Ag) within a nanocomposite structure allows secure production and applications in various fields, especially in the medical sector. Therefore, nitrogen or oxygen containing hydrocarbon plasma polymers and Ag nanoparticles were simultaneously deposited. Functional groups such as amino or carboxylic groups as well as an adjusted amount of Ag can be incorporated into the growing films by controlling the plasma deposition properties. For this purpose, macroscopic kinetics were used to characterise the deposition behaviour also as a base for possible industrial up-scaling. XPS and ICP-OES were used to analyse the chemical composition of the polymer–Ag nanocomposites and the Ag content which could be incorporated depending on the plasma process conditions. Finally, the Ag release was determined in bi-distilled water for classification and comparison with the antibacterial properties. The antibacterial effect of the polymer–Ag nanocomposites was proofed with the gram− strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and the gram+ strain Staphylococcus aureus (ST12 Group) showing a clear efficacy dependence on the amount of released Ag and the possibility for tailor-made antibacterial active plasma films.


Plasma polymerisation Sputtering Nanocomposite Macroscopic kinetics Antibacterial 



Enrico Körner likes to acknowledge Elisabeth Michel and Axel Ritter, Empa St. Gallen, for performing the analytics for the ICP-OES measurements, Patrick Rupper for the XPS analysis and Myriam H. Aguirre, Empa Dübendorf, for the TEM measurements. Peter Cierniak likes to acknowledge Vishwas Kaveeshwar, University of Cologne, for the assistance in performing the antibacterial activity tests. Sections of this work were part of the EU-funded project EmbekI “Development and analysis of polymer based multifunctional bactericidal materials”, Grant #211436 of the seventh framework program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Körner
    • 1
  • Barbara Hanselmann
    • 1
  • Peter Cierniak
    • 2
  • Dirk Hegemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologySt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Medical Faculty, Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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