What is Plasma Functionalization?

Plasma functionalization is the process by which a bondable surface is treated to improve its adhesive properties, including bondability or paintability.

Oxygen plasma is used in most applications, allowing printing or bonding to a surface that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to print on or bond to.

PE-25 Plasma Functionalization SystemPE-25 Entry Level Plasma System
If there is metal in or on the products being treated, argon is often added to the input gas mixture to prevent oxidation of any metal surfaces inside the chamber.

The treatment removes organic contaminantes and leaves a free radical on the surface being functionalized, which allows inks and glues to be accepted. These free radicals are chemically unstable and searching for an extra electron, which is why they bond so well.

Low frequency plasma is often used to functionalize surfaces, although high frequency plasma also works well.


Plasma functionalization leaves chemically unstable free radicals on the surface of most materials, allowing printing on a shiny surface that would otherwise smear or resist the ink. These surfaces include plastics and rubber products. The plasma process allows the surface to accept the ink.


The PE-100 is our most popular system used for plasma functionalization. The convenient chamber size, along with the availability of high frequency RF power, combine to create a production capable unit small enough to fit nearly anywhere in your lab or production work space.

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