Functionalisation refers to the targeted modification of properties, e.g. by introducing chemical groups into molecules or onto surfaces. These so-called functional groups are characteristic groups of atoms which significantly determine the material properties and the reaction behaviour. While the functionalisation of molecules is generally controlled by synthesis, is the one of surfaces is achieved by downstream processes such as coatings or plasma treatments.
The aim of surface pre-treatment is, for example, to improve the adhesion of surfaces. During plasma treatment, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) are produced, which introduce functional groups to the surface and thus increase the polar fractions of the surface energy in particular. This leads to a better wettability and enables various subsequent processes like printing.