Antimicrobial adhesive films by plasma-enabled polymerisation of m-cresol

Hartl, Hugo, Li, Wenshao, Michl, Thomas Danny, Anangi, Raveendra, Speight, Robert, Vasilev, Krasimir, Ostrikov, Kostya Ken, and MacLeod, Jennifer (2022) Antimicrobial adhesive films by plasma-enabled polymerisation of m-cresol. Scientific Reports, 12. 7560.

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This work reveals a versatile new method to produce films with antimicrobial properties that can also bond materials together with robust tensile adhesive strength. Specifically, we demonstrate the formation of coatings by using a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma to convert a liquid small-molecule precursor, m-cresol, to a solid film via plasma-assisted on-surface polymerisation. The films are quite appealing from a sustainability perspective: they are produced using a low-energy process and from a molecule produced in abundance as a by-product of coal tar processing. This process consumes only 1.5 Wh of electricity to create a 1 cm2 film, which is much lower than other methods commonly used for film deposition, such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Plasma treatments were performed in plain air without the need for any carrier or precursor gas, with a variety of exposure durations. By varying the plasma parameters, it is possible to modify both the adhesive property of the film, which is at a maximum at a 1 min plasma exposure, and the antimicrobial property of the film against Escherichia coli, which is at a maximum at a 30 s exposure.

Item ID: 76989
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE170101170, ARC DP180101254, ARC DP210100472
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2023 00:21
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3206 Medical biotechnology > 320699 Medical biotechnology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3406 Physical chemistry > 340603 Colloid and surface chemistry @ 30%
40 ENGINEERING > 4003 Biomedical engineering > 400302 Biomaterials @ 30%
SEO Codes: 24 MANUFACTURING > 2499 Other manufacturing > 249999 Other manufacturing not elsewhere classified @ 50%
12 CONSTRUCTION > 1299 Other construction > 129999 Other construction not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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