Andrew Morgan


Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a widely used polymer in the bottling, packaging, and clothing industry. In recent years an increasing global demand for PET has taken place due to the Solar Disinfection (SODIS) process. SODIS is a method of sterilizing fresh water into drinkable water. The PET bottles are used in the process to contain the water during solar irradiation due to its highly transparent optical property. Alongside PET, polyethylene 2,6-napthalate (PEN) is used in bottling and flexible electronic applications. The surface of PEN would need to be modified to control the hydrophilicity and the interaction it exudes as a substrate. The UV light absorption properties of PET and PEN are of great importance for many applications, and thus needs to be studied along with its photochemical resistance.

The optical and chemical nature of PET was studied as it was treated by UV photo-oxidation, photo-ozonation, and photolysis under atmospheric pressure. Another investigation was also used to study PEN and PET as they are treated by vacuum UV (VUV) photo-oxidation, VUV photolysis, and remote oxygen reactions. The extent of the photoreactions' effect into the depth of the polymers is examined as treatment conditions are changed. The different experimental methods established the rate of several competing photoreactions on PET and PEN during irradiance, and their effect on the optical quality of the polymers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Polyethylene terephthalate--Testing; Polyethylene--Testing; Far ultraviolet radiation; Photooxidative stress; Photochemistry

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Gerald A. Takacs

Advisor/Committee Member

KSV Santhanam


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes