Photolysis systems combine principles of corona and plasma.  These systems use high voltage to excite gas in an emitter, which then radiates to the surface of a polymer.  The radiation is then fine-tuned to chemically modify a polymer to receive most adhesives, paints, coatings, and inks.


  • High throughput treatment of stable polymers (nylon 6 and nylon 12) and elastomers (EPDM, Neoprene, Isoprene, Silicone).
  • Efficient and effective due to the specific wavelength emitted by the radiation source.  
  • No electrical discharge across the sample needing treatment; electrically or charge sensitive devices are easily and safely treated. 
  • Systems can be easily designed to fit on nearly any conveyor system.  
  • Moderate cost related to the size of the system (usually large systems are needed for highly stable material and high throughput).


  • Surface chemistry selectivity
  • Operate in standard atmospheric conditions, so treatments are restricted to air chemistry  
  • Line-of-sight (or two dimensional) design
  • System design can be modified to treat three-dimensional objects, but treatment is still determined by the placement of the radiation sources.

Check out TriStar’s Solutions for Surface Modification 

Surface Modification White Paper


Benefits of Surface Modification:

  • Uniform 3-D treatment   
  • Chemistry control                   
  • Longer lifespan
  • Roll-to-roll capability
  • Corrosion-resistance
  • Bondable
  • Inert surface


Common Industry Applications


  • Plasma-cleaning
  • Devices including catheters, endoscopes, stents, intra-ocular lenses, etc. prior to the application of a specialty and/or lubricious coating, adhesive, or marking.


  • Plasma-cleaning and/or photolysis treatments 
  • Materials including polycarbonate, glass, CR39, TrivexTM, PMMA, and urethane, for lenses, films, depositions, MOEMs.


  • Devices for drug delivery and storage


  • Plasma-cleaning, functionalization and silane deposition treatments 
  • Micro-arrays, micro-fluidics, MEMs, etc.

Aerospace, Automotive and Commercial Products

  • Improve the adhesion of gaskets and other dissimilar materials, remove "tack" from silicon devices, and increase adhesion of elastomer material to metal, polymers and other elastomers


Complete our Surface Modification Application Worksheet

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