This paper describes the usefulness of nanoscale coatings in improving some engineering materials having porous and uneven surfaces (microcellular foam, nanofibers, nanotubes, etc.). It is shown that 3-5 nm coatings deposited in microwave plasma can influence crucial properties for a wide variety of applications. Two coatings resulting in opposite chemistries have been studied, an oxide layer that increases surface reactivity, and a similar fluorocarbon layer that makes it inert. In-depth atomic level microscopic and spectroscopic investigations of nucleation and growth of these layers on various substrates have been reported earlier. The effectiveness of such coatings in modifying bond strength, wettability and catalytic activity of various porous and uneven carbon surfaces have been shown here. The following influences of nanoscale functional coatings have been elaborated upon: (a) modification of carbon-polymer interfaces (b) controlled metallization of carbon (c) influence of nano-coatings on catalytic activity, for formation of carbon nanotubes on larger structures. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sharmila_mukhopadhyay/25/