This chapter details how plasma treatments can be used to tailor the wettability of polymers. A plasma is an excited gas, and exposure of a polymer to a plasma discharge generally results in an enhancement in surface energy and associated with this is an increase in wettability. The effect however can be short lived due to hydrophobic recovery. In this review the use of both low and atmospheric plasmas for the activation of polymers will be discussed, as will the use of these plasmas for the deposition of plasma polymerised coatings. The latter can be used to produce polymer surfaces with tailored functionalities, thus achieving stable water contact angles ranging from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic, as required.
Part of the book: Surface Energy