On the effects of using CO2 and F2 lasers to modify the wettability of a polymeric biomaterial

D. G. Waugh, J. Lawrence, C. D. Walton, R. B. Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Enhancement of the surface properties of a material by means of laser radiation has been amply demonstrated previously. In this work a comparative study for the surface modification of nylon 6,6 has been conducted in order to vary the wettability characteristics using CO2 and excimer lasers. This was done by producing 50 μm spaced (with depths between 1 and 10 μm) trench-like patterns using various laser parameters such as varying the laser power for the CO2 laser and number of pulses for the excimer laser. Topographical changes were analysed using optical microscopy and white light interferometry which indicated that both laser systems can be implemented for modifying the topography of nylon 6,6. Variations in the surface chemistry were evaluated using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis which showed that the O2 increased by up to 1.5 at% and decreased by up to 1.6 at% for the CO2 and F2 laser patterned samples, respectively. Modification of the wettability characteristics was quantified by measuring the advancing contact angle, which was found to increase in all instances for both laser systems. Emery paper roughened samples were also analysed in the same manner to determine that the topographical pattern played a major role in the wettability characteristics of nylon 6,6. From this, it is proposed that the increase in contact angle for the laser processed samples is due to a mixed intermediate state wetting regime owed to the periodic surface roughness brought about by the laser-induced trench-like topographical patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalOptics and Laser Technology
Issue number2
Early online date31 Aug 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Laser
  • Nylon 6,6
  • Wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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