Photoluminescence of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene modified by fast atom bombardment

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An increase in the application potential of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) may be achieved by producing a hard, wear resistant carbonaceous modified surface layer on it. In this study the surface of UHMWPE samples was treated by 1 keV N, H and He fast atom bombardment (FAB) to obtain amorphous carbon surface layer which produces an enhancement of microhardness. The untreated and FAB-modified samples were investigated by photoluminescence, infrared, Raman and optical absorption spectroscopy. The FAB-treatment caused a nearly complete disappearance of the characteristic luminescence bands of UHMWPE (at 335, 351, 363 and 381 nm), the appearance of new bands at 459 and 495 nm due to the formation of new recombination levels in the FAB-treated samples. The remarkable decrease in integrated luminescence intensity indicates the appearance of new non-radiative recombination levels caused by FAB treatment. Structural modifications in FAB treated samples result in the development of structural arrangement containing sp2 bonded carbon sites in rings or chains of different sizes and the electronic levels corresponding to these structural elements are situated in the forbidden gap in the electronic density of states which brings forth the observed changes of the photoluminescence properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2006



  • Amorphization
  • Ion bombardment
  • Luminescence
  • Polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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