IJAT Vol.18 No.2 pp. 240-247
doi: 10.20965/ijat.2024.p0240

Research Paper:

High-Efficiency Polishing of Polymer Surface Using Catalyst-Referred Etching

Daisetsu Toh*,† ORCID Icon, Kodai Takeda* ORCID Icon, Kiyoto Kayao* ORCID Icon, Yuji Ohkubo** ORCID Icon, Kazuto Yamauchi*,** ORCID Icon, and Yasuhisa Sano* ORCID Icon

*Precision Engineering and Applied Physics Division, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University
2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Corresponding author

**Research Center for Precision Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University
Suita, Japan

July 25, 2023
October 10, 2023
March 5, 2024
polymer polishing, catalyst-referred etching (CARE), polycarbonate (PC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP)

Previously, we developed an abrasive-free polishing technique called catalyst-referred etching (CARE) for inorganic materials. In this method, the topmost site of the workpiece surface is preferentially removed via an indirect hydrolysis reaction promoted by a metal catalyst. In this study, we proposed applying the CARE method to polymer material polishing and demonstrated the polishing characteristics. Using the CARE method, polycarbonate, which has an easy cleavage of ester bond via hydrolysis, was polished, resulting in the smoothness of the surface roughness below 1.0 nm. Based on the surface observations, the removal mechanism was estimated as follows. Molecule chains are entangled to form clusters constituting the polymer surface and help determine the surface roughness. In the CARE method, the top of this cluster was selectively removed, thus creating a smooth surface. Polymers with C–C bonds, such as polymethyl methacrylate and fluorinated ethylene propylene, were also smoothed using the CARE method. These results indicate that the CARE method is highly effective in polishing polymer materials.

Cite this article as:
D. Toh, K. Takeda, K. Kayao, Y. Ohkubo, K. Yamauchi, and Y. Sano, “High-Efficiency Polishing of Polymer Surface Using Catalyst-Referred Etching,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.18 No.2, pp. 240-247, 2024.
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