Since polybenzimidazole (PBI) is often used in the aerospace industry and in high temperature fuel cells, this research investigated the surface modification of PBI film with 253.7 and 184.9 nm UV photo-oxidation. As observed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), the oxygen concentration on the surface increased up to a saturation level of 20.2 ± 0.7 at %. With increasing treatment time, there were significant decreases in the concentrations of C-C sp2 and C=N groups and increases in the concentration of C=O, O-C=O, O-(C=O)-O, C-N, N-O, and N-C=O containing moieties due to 253.7 nm photo-oxidation of the aromatic groups of PBI and reaction with ozone produced by 184. 9 nm photo-dissociation of oxygen. Because no significant changes in surface topography were detected by AFM and SEM measurements, the observed decrease in the water contact angle down to ca. 44°, i.e., increase in hydrophilic, was due to the chemical changes on the surface.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus