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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology

ISSN: 0169-4243 (Print) 1568-5616 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tast20

Structural alterations of polycarbonate/PBT
by gamma irradiation for high technology
applications
M. F. Zaki, Elsayed K. Elmaghraby & A. B. Elbasaty
To cite this article: M. F. Zaki, Elsayed K. Elmaghraby & A. B. Elbasaty (2015): Structural
alterations of polycarbonate/PBT by gamma irradiation for high technology applications,
Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/01694243.2015.1105123
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01694243.2015.1105123

Published online: 13 Nov 2015.

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Date: 17 November 2015, At: 00:24

Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 2015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01694243.2015.1105123

Structural alterations of polycarbonate/PBT by gamma
irradiation for high technology applications
M. F. Zakia,b, Elsayed K. Elmaghrabya 

and A. B. Elbasatyc

a

Experimental Nuclear Physics Department, Nuclear Research Center, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, Egypt;
Faculty of Medicine, Medical Physics Department, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; cFaculty of Industrial
Education, Physics Department, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

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b

ABSTRACT

In this work, polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate (PC/PBT)
was irradiated with different gamma doses ranging from 200 kGy to
1950 kGy. Structural alterations of irradiated PC/PBT polymer blend
have been studied using UV–vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), as well as surface wettability. The
results of UV–vis spectra showed that gamma irradiation induced
an increase in the optical absorption with an increase in the gamma
doses with shift in the optical absorption edge in the irradiated
samples toward the higher wavelength. This shift is correlated with
the decrease in optical band gap energy. Optical band gap decreases
up to 12 and 20% with respect to pristine sample for direct and
indirect transition, respectively. The number of carbon atoms per
conjugated length has been estimated. The α phase and β phase of
the crystalline PBT structure were observed. The α phase reflections
are slightly increased due to the irradiation but the accompanying α
to β transformation alters the results. FTIR investigation showed slight
variation in the absorption spectrum specially in the range from 1300
to 1001 cm−1 which are related to the O–C–O arrangements that is
found to be the most affected part of the molecule by irradiation.
A remarkable increase was observed in the wettability, surface free
energy, and adhesion work of irradiated samples with an increase in
the gamma doses.

ARTICLE HISTORY

Received 5 August 2015
Revised 26 September 2015
Accepted 5 October 2015
KEYWORDS

PC/PBT; gamma irradiation;
optical properties;
X-ray diffraction; FTIR
spectroscopy; surface
wettability

1. Introduction
The polymeric materials play an important role, due to their advantageous properties, in a
wide range of applications. Modifying the properties of polymers has become an important
goal in the global trend for use in industrial, medical, and engineering fields.[1] One of
these polymeric materials, known as Makroblend, which is the brand name of polycarbonate (PC) + polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), also known as PC/PBT. Makrofol PC is
a well-known polymer that currently belongs to solid-state nuclear track detectors.[2–6]
Makrofol production has become play an important role that interest to users in many

CONTACT  M. F. Zaki 
© 2015 Taylor & Francis

moha1016@yahoo.com 

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  M. F. Zaki et al.

branches of applied science such as radiation protection, dosimetry, earth science, and
radiation biology.[7–10] On the other hand, poly (butylene terephthalate), also known as
PBT, has excellent thermal and mechanical properties and high chemical resistance. Blend
of these two polymeric materials give them superior mechanical and optical properties even
if some of them possess undesirable properties.[11–13] Makroblend is distinct by a good
chemical resistance, good paint ability, low moisture uptake, high toughness even at low
temperatures, and reduced susceptibility to stress cracking.[14–17] PC/PBT polymer blend
is used in different industrial applications such as electrical engineering/microelectronics,
automotive engineering, photonic crystal applications, sports and leisure, and lighting technology.[18–22] Modification of polymeric materials by radiation is a promising technique
for the production of new polymeric materials that can be used in different applications.
Study of radiation interaction with polymeric material has a special importance; it is a
selective phenomenon.
Irradiation of polymers with low and high energy transfer can play an important role to
modify both physical and chemical properties of polymeric materials. Ion beam irradiation
(as a high linear energy transfer radiation) and electron beam and gamma irradiation (as a
low linear energy transfer radiation) have been used to modify the properties of polymers
for high-technology applications.[23] Furthermore, the interaction of ionizing radiation
with polymers causes modifications of the polymer structure, which lead to changes in its
physical, chemical, structural, mechanical, optical, and surface properties.[24] These modifications of polymer properties by radiation have been due to crosslinking, scissioning, formation of carbon clusters [25], and creation of volatile species during the irradiation process.
More than that, during gamma irradiation of polymeric materials, chemical bonds may be
disrupted and leads to release of hydrogen atoms in the form of hydrogen molecules, which
causes changes in the properties of the irradiated polymers. In general, theses alterations in
irradiated polymers are depend on the irradiation conditions such as the type of radiation,
fluence/dose, the energy, linear energy transfer, and the nature of polymeric material.[26]
In the present work, the alterations of optical, structural, chemical, and surface properties
of PC/PBT have been studied as a result of gamma irradiation. The characterizations of
PC/PBT samples were carried out by using UV–vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD),
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as well as surface wettability by contact
angle measurements. In addition, the principle objective of this study aimed to modify the
properties of PC/PBT through gamma irradiation induced modifications on a molecular
level. For more informative from a scientific point of view of this study, an attempt has been
made to correlate the obtained results with reported data.

2.  Experimental details
PC/PBT composite used in this study was manufactured by Bayer Material Science Company,
Leverkusen, Germany. The polymeric blend material samples have a thickness of 1.0 mm
and dimension 2 × 2 cm2. The chemical structure of PC/PBT is as [27]:
(1)

+

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 

 3

While the physical nature, including density and molecular arrangements are dependent
on the casting conditions of the samples; all samples are taken from the same source. The
irradiation of PC/PBT polymeric samples was carried out with Co-60 Gamma source at
Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, Egypt. The polymer samples were irradiated with different
doses ranging from 200 to 1950 kGy under the same conditions with dose rate 3.5 kGy/h.
The UV–vis absorbance spectra of pristine and irradiated samples were investigated by
UV–vis spectroscopy. The spectra were performed in the wavelength region of 190–1100 nm
using JASCO V-630 double-beam spectrophotometer with resolution of 0.1 nm.
XRD patterns measurements of the pristine and irradiated samples were detected with
Philips powder diffractometer-type PW-1373 goniometer. The X-ray wavelength was
1.5405 Å. The X-ray patterns were recorded at room temperature in the 2θ range of 4–70°
with a scanning speed of 2°/min.
The chemical structure and bonds were investigated by FTIR spectroscopy in the wavenumber range 400–4000 cm−1 using Nicolet 6700 FTIR spectrometer. The accuracy was
±4 cm−1.
Surface wettability, surface free energy, and work of adhesion were estimated by contact
angle measurements for three different liquids (distilled water, glycerol, and formamide).
Micro-syringe was used to put three drops for each liquid on the sample surface and the
average of three measurements of the contact angle was calculated and used.

3.  Results and discussion
3.1.  UV–vis spectra analysis
UV–vis absorbance spectra for pristine and gamma irradiated PC/PBT polymer samples
at different doses are shown in Figure 1. It is clear from Figure 1 that there are many alterations in the UV–vis spectra of irradiated sample compared to the pristine one. One can
notice that two regions of high absorption were observed, one centered around 290 nm
(from 270 to 330 nm) and the other belongs to the band gap absorption. We deem that the

Figure 1. UV–vis spectra of gamma-irradiated PC/PBT blend.

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4 

  M. F. Zaki et al.

first band is related to the photon localization in the disordered samples of polymers like
photonic crystals.[28–30] Irradiation with gamma ray increases the disorder in the samples,
and hence increases the percentage of photon localization in the PC/PBT polymer.
For the other absorption region, the optical absorption in the irradiated samples increases,
naturally, with an increase in the irradiation dose. This increase in the absorbance with an
increase in the irradiation gamma doses is associated also with shift in the absorbance
toward the lower energies (i.e. higher wavelength). This shift in the optical absorbance edge
might be due to breaking bonds that cause releasing of volatile species, formation of new
bonds, creation of free radicals, crosslinking and defects. In addition, an increase in the
absorption band can be due to the formation of extended system of conjugated bonds or
aromatic rings and carbon clusters. The absorption values were related to π–π* transitions
which need to smaller energy for the excitation by π electrons.[31–33] Such a behavior of the
absorbance after gamma irradiation reveals that a decrease in the optical band gap energy
Eg in the irradiated polymers was occurred, which can be estimated from the absorbance
coefficient α using the relation [34]:

𝛼h𝜈 = 𝛽(h𝜈 − Eg )n

(2)

here α is the absorbance coefficient, β is a constant, hν is the photon energy, and n is
the index and takes the value depending on the type of transition that is responsible for
the absorption (1/2 for direct allowed or 2 for indirect allowed).[35] Figures 2 and 3 show
the relation between photon energy (hν) with (αhν)2 and (αhν)0.5 for pristine- and gamma-irradiated samples, respectively. It is found that the best linear fitting existing in the
region of the lowest absorption edge.
The optical band gap energy can be determined by the extrapolation of the linear part of
the plot between (hν) and (αhν)2 to zero absorption for direct transition and with (αhν)0.5
for indirect transition. Figure 4 shows the changes of the optical band gap as a function
of gamma doses for pristine and irradiated samples. It is clear that the optical band gap

Figure 2. The dependence of (ΑhΝ)2 on photon energy (hΝ) for pristine- and gamma-irradiated PC/PBT
polymer.

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 

 5

Figure 3. The dependence of (ΑhΝ)0.5 on photon energy (hΝ) for pristine- and gamma-irradiated PC/
PBT polymer.

Figure 4. The optical band gap energy (Eg) and number of carbon atoms (N) as a function of gamma
doses for PC/PBT polymer.

decreases form 5.0  eV for the pristine sample to 4.4  eV for irradiated sample with the
highest gamma dose for direct transition. While in case of indirect transition, the optical
band gap decreases form 4.4 eV for the pristine sample to 3.5 eV for irradiated sample with
the highest gamma dose. These decreases may be attributed to excitation of non-bonding
electrons caused by the formation of defects into the conduction band with their subsequent
on localized states.[25] The creation of free radicals, which cause an increase in the carriers
on localized states, lead to decrease in the transition probabilities into the extended states
that give rise to additional absorption and hence improve in the electrical conductivity of
the irradiated polymers.[36,37] Furthermore, a significant dependence of optical band gap

6 

  M. F. Zaki et al.

on the irradiated gamma dose was noticed. This means that the possibility for the use PC/
PBT as a dosimeter for gamma rays.
The compact carbon clusters were proposed by Robertson and O’Reilly [38]. They
deduced that the decrease in optical energy ban gap depends on the number of carbon atoms
per conjugated length N. The number of carbon atoms can be calculated by the relation [39]:

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Eg = 2𝛽𝜋∕N

(3)

where 2β is the band structure energy of a pair of adjacent π sites. For a six-membered carbon ring, β takes the value −2.9 eV as it is associated with π–π* transition in –C=C– structure
resulted from the scissioning in the main chain (C–H). The dependence of the number of
carbon atoms per conjugated length (N) on the irradiation gamma doses of pristine and
irradiated samples is shown in Figure 4. It is observed from Figure 4 that the number of
carbon atoms per conjugated length (N) increases with an increase in the gamma doses.
This increase is due to the breakage of C–O bonds by gamma irradiation, which leads to
the liberation of hydrogen atoms in form of hydrogen molecules.
3.2.  X-ray diffraction
XRD measurements were performed on pristine and irradiated PC/PBT polymer blend to
have preliminary information of the effect of different gamma doses on the structure of this
polymer. The XRD diffraction patterns of pristine and irradiated PC/PBT polymer samples
with different gamma doses are presented in Figure 5. Polycarbonate has no definite X-ray

Figure 5. X-ray diffractogram of samples irradiated at different doses. Labels of reflections peaks are the
possible forms in the samples (see Table 1).

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 

 7

reflection in XRD diffractogram [40], while PBT has been probed to have a definite X-ray
reflection. Diffraction peaks are related to relative arrangement of lamella (stacks of folded
chains) which arrange the atoms in one or more of the Bravais lattices. It has been reported
that blending of PBT with other polymer enhances its crystallization.[41] The calculated
crystal structure of the two forms of PBT was given by Yokouchi et al. [42] named form α
and form β. The α crystal is in triclinic structure with a = 4.83 Å, b = 5.94 Å, c = 11.59 Å,
α = 99.7°, β = 115.2°, and γ = 110.8°. The β is also triclinic with a = 4.95 Å, b = 5.67 Å,
c = 12.95 Å, α = 101.7°, β = 121.8°, and γ = 99.9°.
Both forms of PBT can be transformed to one another under certain conditions of stress
and temperature. Chen et al. [43] had reported this transformation as a reversible process.
Figure 5 shows the X-ray diffractograms of gamma-irradiated samples at different doses.
It is obvious that there is a tremendous reduction in the diffraction intensity after the first
irradiation at 200 kGy. The intensities of α as compared to the reflections of β form of PBT
varies as the dose increases. In Table 1, the intensities of the reflections are compared with
the intensity of 100% of β form. Even if the intensities of the β form varies slightly due to the
preferred orientation of the samples, the intensities of the α form reflection shows an irregular decrease in intensity. This decrease in intensity could be attributed to the crosslinking
of molecular chains by forming new bonds between the contiguous chains. This observation
suggests that the gamma radiation interaction with PC/PBT sample produces an effect
that favors the β to α transformation. On reverse, the reversible nature of the PBT forms
alters the results with different amounts according to the applied dose. To account for the
reversible α–β phase transformation, we recall the scheme of spore formed by secondary
electrons.[44] The change in phase occurs as a result of stresses developed in the material
during the expansion of the spore of secondary excited electrons.
3.3.  FTIR spectroscopy
The nature of chemical bonds of pristine- and gamma-irradiated polymer blend was investigated by FTIR spectroscopy. FTIR absorption spectra of the pristine samples and that irradiated with gamma ray are shown in Figures 6(a) and 6(b). Infrared absorption spectrum of
the pristine sample shows the precise conformation of the chemical structure (Figure 6(a)).
The 3671 and 3529 cm−1absorptions belongs to terminal hydrogen bonds and free O–H
stretching since sample are measured in moist air environment. The 3111 and 3045 cm−1
absorptions are related to C–H stretch in aromatic ring, while the 2971, 2941, and 2875 cm−1
absorptions are signature for asymmetric C–H stretching in PC, asymmetric C–H stretching
in PBT, and symmetric C–H stretching in PBT, respectively. The two stretching vibrations
of C=O appears at 1794 and 1758 cm−1 due to the attachment to different polymeric chains.
The higher frequency is belonged to PC as depicted from the comparison to the work of
Jaleh et al. [40] in Figure 6(a). However, the carbonyl in attachment to aromatic ring shows
two absorption peaks at 1598 and 1498 cm−1. The absorption peak at 1598 cm−1 may also
be related to C=C stretching, however, it often occurs in pairs around 1600 and 1475 cm−1,
in which the later is absent. The 1409 and 1068 cm−1 absorption peaks are related to C=O
symmetric stretch. Several absorption bands belong to the vibrations of the methylene
sequences –O–(CH2)4–O–. The 1467 cm−1 absorption peak is related to C <HH scissoring
vibration, while the wagging vibration showed the absorption at 1267 cm−1 in co-instance
with O–C–O stretching.

4.3275

3.8897
3.7621
3.5687
3.4348
3.3092
3.0945
2.8271
2.7252
2.4753
2.2714
2.2040

2.1165

2.1018
2.0530

1.9228
1.8552
1.7868

1.7529
1.7217
1.7034

20.52

22.86
23.65
24.95
25.94
26.94
28.85
31.65
32.87
36.29
39.68
40.95

42.72

43.04
44.11

47.27
49.11
51.12

52.18
53.20
53.82

d (Å)
4.4261

P
685.3

248.9

231.7
254.3
284.7
603.7
542.2
504.4
211.5
346.8
112.1
132.5
134.5

1000

506.6
272.7

95.8
199.5
NO

126.9
90
NO

Form
α

α

β
α
α
β
β
α
α
β
α
α
β

β

β
β

α
α
α

α
α
α

All these reflections are observed in our work.

a

2θ (°)
20.06

a

102.8
110.3
96.2

NO
240.7
89.2

665.4
311.5

998.9

327.8
306
402.3
726.5
733.4
689.1
292.3
364.8
128.6
141.8
177.6

292.2

200 kGy
779.2

NO
NO
NO

NO
196.1
NO

472.6
210.2

1000

238.2
168.9
286.7
495.2
572.9
482.1
213.5
283.5
NO
61.4
113.3

180.9

500 kGy
684.3

NO
NO
NO

NO
208.3
NO

567.6
262.4

1000

212.7
219.6
305.9
643.4
583.4
530.8
272.6
297.4
107
158.1
128.4

177.3

750 kGy
568.7

Intensities (relative to beta form)

94.2
68.6
48.2

NO
208.3
NO

567.6
262.4

1000

212.7
219.6
305.9
643.4
583.4
530.8
272.6
297.4
107
158.1
93.9

177.3

1550 kGy
568.7

NO
NO
NO

NO
164.9
NO

506.9
267.3

1000

252.4
210.1
282.3
642.8
556.9
477.4
257.6
340.2
115
121.9
134.7

219.4

1950 kGy
571.7

1.75
1.72
1.71

1.92
1.85
1.77

2.10
2.11
2.1
2.01

3.96
3.79
3.49
3.43
3.3
3.02
2.86
2.75
2.49
2.28
2.21

4.2

Reported
d (Å)
4.43
(0 1̄ 2)
(1̄ 0 2)
(1̄ 1 0)
(1̄ 0 1)
(1 0 0)
(1 0 0)
(1 1̄ 1)
(0 0 3)
(1 1̄ 1)
(1̄ 1̄ 2)
(1̄ 2 0)
(1 1 0)
(1 2̄ 2)
(1 1̄ 3)
(0 2 1)
(2̄ 1 1)
(2̄ 1 0)
(1̄ 1 5)
(2̄ 1 0)
(1̄ 2̄ 5)
(2̄ 1̄ 5)
(2̄ 1 5)
(0 2̄ 5)
(2̄ 1 5)
(0 3̄ 2)
(1 2 0)
(2̄ 3 0)
(2 2̄ 2)
(2 1̄ 2)
(0 3 0)

Plane

[42]
[42]
[42]

[42]
[42]
[42]

[42]
[42]

[42]

[42]
[42,44]
[41]
[42–44]
[42–44]
[42]
[42]
[42,44]
[42]
[42]
[42]
[42]
[42]

Ref.
[42]

Table 1. Information of the diffraction peaks. P stands for pristine samples, d is the measured plane distances and reported plane distances in angstrom as obtained
from [42].

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8 
  M. F. Zaki et al.

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 

 9

Figure 6a. The FTIR absorption spectra for PC/PBT samples irradiated with different gamma doses.

Figure 6b. As in Figure 6(a), with focus to the absorptions between 1300 and 1001 cm−1.

The methylene rocking shows small absorption around 730 cm−1. The asymmetric and
symmetric C–CH3 stretching vibrations are at 1363 and 1336 cm−1. At 887 cm−1, the C–H
out of plane bending (oop) with 1, 1-disubstituted in aromatic ring gives one strong band,
while the para-substituted rings give one band at 843 cm−1. Any two adjacent hydrogens on
the aromatic ring with para substitution give rise to the absorption near 821 cm−1, while the
four hydrogens on the aromatic ring with ortho substitution give rise to the absorption near
765 cm−1 which signal for alpha phase of PBT. All absorption peaks are of the same intensity
and profile for all irradiated samples except in the wavenumber range 1300 to 1000 cm−1.
The most important absorption bands are those from 1300 to 1001 cm−1 which are related
to the O–C–O arrangements and shows a high complexity as it has a polar nature. For
instance, C3≡C–O stretching showed absorption at 1097 cm−1. The C–O–C arrangement

10 

  M. F. Zaki et al.

gives rise to absorption at 1086 cm−1 and 1214 cm−1. The terminal oxygen C–O–H gives rise

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to 1024 cm−1absorption. The oxygen in

sequence gives absorption at 1186 cm−1

(nominally at 1170 cm−1). The absorption at 1107, 1151, 1294, and 1267 cm−1 are related to
C–O stretching at different locations in the PC and PBT molecules. The sole role of PC in the
FTIR spectrum can be identified from our results by comparison to work of Jaleh et al. [40]
in which the 1214, 1758, 730 cm−1 peak is related to PC. The absorption in the wavenumber
range those from 1300 to 1001 cm−1 is slightly altered by radiation. This suggests that the
C–O–C arrangement is the sensitive part of the molecules to the radiation. In general, the
obtained results show the possibility to modify the structure of the polymer and allow to the
chain scission to take place by gamma irradiation which causes the formation of hydroxyl
group and liberation of carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide. Moreover, existence of favored
sensitive part of the molecule supports former proposal [44] that the effect of the radiation
interaction with matter came mainly due to the formation of secondary excited electron
spores around the γ-ray’s first interaction site.
3.4.  Surface adhesion analysis
Wetting phenomena are found everywhere in nature and technology. This property occurs
whenever a surface is exposed to an environment. The surface wettability has been investigated by measuring the contact angle, where the contact angle is a significant angle which
elucidates the decrease or increase in the wettability of the surface of materials. The wettability increases when the contact angle is smaller than 90° and it decreases when the contact
angle is larger than 90°. Figure 7 shows the variation of contact angle with gamma irradiation
dose for three liquids, water, glycerol, and formamide. It is obviously clear from Figure 7 that
the contact angle values decrease for the three liquids with an increase in the gamma doses,
which means that an increase in the surface wettability of the irradiated polymer surface.
This may be explained by the creation of oxidized layer on the improved surface and/or
formation of hydrophilic groups.[45–47] These hydrophilic groups have been formed by

Figure 7. Variation of contact angle values as a function of gamma irradiation doses for PC/PBT samples.

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Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology 

 11

Figure 8. Total surface free energy and its components as a function of gamma irradiation doses for PC/
PBT samples.

the creation of free radicals in polymer chains on the gamma irradiated polymer surface,
and consequently, interact with the oxygen results in the formation of carbonyl, carboxyl,
and hydroxyl groups (i.e. polar groups).[48–51]
One of the common methods used to determine the surface free energy is Owens–Wendt
method,[52] which determines the total surface free energy γt and its components, polar
γp, and dispersive γd components. The dependence of SFE of the irradiated samples on the
gamma dose is illustrated in Figure 8. It is observed that with an increase in the irradiation
gamma doses, both the total surface free energy and polar component of irradiated samples
increase, whereas, the decrease in the dispersive component was observed. This behavior
in the total surface free energy and its components might be due to the irradiation induced
oxidation layer on the polymer surface and/or formation of polar groups.
In this work, the adhesion work WA, which represents the work required to separate two
surfaces, can be calculated by the equation [53]:

WA = 𝛾l (1 + cos 𝜃)

(4)

where γl is the surface energy of the liquid used for the contact angle measurement.
Figure 9 shows the relation between the work of adhesion and the gamma irradiation
doses. It is clear that an increase in the work of adhesion is observed with an increase in the
gamma doses. This may be due to the dependence of adhesion work on the oxygen uptake
on the irradiated polymer surface, where Equation (4) reflects the dependence of adhesion
work on the contact angle and the surface energy of the liquid.

4. Conclusion
On the basis of the current results, it is found that the optical, structural, chemical, and
surface properties of PC/PBT are influenced by gamma irradiation. UV–vis spectral studies
of pristine- and gamma-irradiated PC/PBT samples show that the optical absorption in the

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12 

  M. F. Zaki et al.

Figure 9. The work of adhesion as a function of gamma irradiation doses for PC/PBT samples.

irradiated samples increases with an increasing gamma irradiation dose. This increase is
attributed to the formation of new chemical species as a result of energy transfer by gamma
ray. A decrease in the optical band gap energy with an increase in the irradiation gamma
doses was observed. In addition, the values of indirect band gap are smaller than the values
of direct band gap. The number of aromatic carbon atoms per conjugated length increases
with an increasing gamma doses. The effect of gamma irradiation on the crystalline structure
of the polymer has been studied. The intensities of α-phase reflections are slightly enhanced
after irradiation compared with β-phase reflections. However, this variation changes with
dose due to the accompanying α to β transformation and vice versa. The FTIR spectrum
shows slight variation in the absorption in the wavenumber range from 1300 to 1000 cm−1
which is related to the sensitivity of C–O–C arrangement to the radiation damage. The
FTIR results and UV–vis absorptions suggest that part of the C–O–C arrangements was
transformed into other organic structures upon irradiation. The surface studies reveal an
increase in the wettability, surface free energy, and the work of adhesion with an increase
in the gamma doses. These increases might be due to the creation of polar group and/or
production of oxidation layer on the polymer surface. The obtained results in this study
clearly present confirmation to the fact that the gamma irradiation technique is a good tool
to modify the polymer properties to use the modified polymer in suitable special applications such as microelectronic devices and printing processes.

Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

ORCID
Elsayed K. Elmaghraby 

 http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6126-9773

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