Graphene is a very promising material for potential applications in many fields. Since manufacturing technologies of graphene are still at the developing stage, low-frequency noise measurements as a tool for evaluating their quality is proposed. In this work, noise properties of polymer thick-film resistors with graphene nano-platelets as a functional phase are reported. The measurements were carried out in room temperature. 1/f noise caused by resistance fluctuations has been found to be the main component in the specimens. The parameter values describing noise intensity of the polymer thick-film specimens have been calculated and compared with the values obtained for other thick-film resistors and layers used in microelectronics. The studied polymer thick-film specimens exhibit rather poor noise properties, especially for the layers with a low content of the functional phase.
Filtering nonwovens produced with melt-blown technology are one of the most basic materials used in the construction of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) against harmful aerosols, including bio- and nanoaerosols. The improvement of their filtering properties can be achieved by the development of quasi-permanent electric charge on the fibres. Usually corona discharge method is utilized for this purpose. In the presented study, it was assumed that the low-temperature plasma treatment could be applied as an alternative method for the manufacturing of conventional electret nonwovens for the RPE construction. Low temperature plasma treatment of polypropylene nonwovens was carried out with various process gases (argon, nitrogen, oxygen or air) in a wide range of process parameters (gas flow velocity, time of treatment and power supplied to the reactor electrodes). After the modification, nonwovens were evaluated in terms of filtration efficiency of paraffin oil mist. The stability of the modification results was tested after 12 months of storage and after conditioning at elevated temperature and relative humidity conditions. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy and ATR-IR spectroscopy were used to assess changes in surface topography and chemical composition of the fibres. The modification of melt-blown nonwovens with nitrogen, oxygen and air plasma did not result in a satisfactory improvement of the filtration efficiency. In case of argon plasma treatment, up to 82% increase of filtration efficiency of paraffin oil mist was observed in relation to untreated samples. This effect was stable after 12 months of storage in normal conditions and after thermal conditioning in (70 ± 3)°C for 24 h. The use of low-temperature plasma treatment was proven to be a promising improvement direction of filtering properties of nonwovens used for the protection of respiratory tract against harmful aerosols.
Hybrid filter material was obtained via modification of polypropylene (PP) nonwoven with nanosize zinc oxide particles of a high aspect ratio. Modification was conducted as a three-step process, a variant of hydrothermal method used for synthesis of nano-ZnO, adopted for coating three dimensional polymeric nonwoven filters. The process consisted of plasma treatment of nonwoven to increase its wettability, deposition of ZnO nanoparticles and low temperature hydrothermal growth of ZnO rods. The modified nonwovens were investigated by a high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM). It has been found that the obtained hybrid filters offer a higher filtration efficiency, in particular for so called most penetrating particle sizes.