Direct exposure of samples to the active species of air generated by a One Atmosphere Uniform Glow Discharge Plasma (OAUGDP) has been used to etch and to increase the surface energy of metallic surfaces, photoresist, polymer films, and nonwoven fab- rics. The OAUGDP is a non-thermal plasma with the classical characteristics of a DC normal glow discharge that operates in air (and other gases) at atmospheric pres- sure. Neither a vacuum system nor batch processing is necessary. A wide range of applications to metals, photoresist, films, fabrics, and polymeric webs can be accom- modated by direct exposure of the workpiece to the plasma in parallel-plate reactors. This technolopy is simple, it produces effects that can be obtained in no other way at one atmosphere; it generates minimal pollutants or unwanted by-products; and it is suitable for individual sample or online treatment of metallic surfaces, wafers, films, and fabrics. Early exposures of solid materials to the OAUGDP required minutes to produce rela- tively small increases of surface energy. These durations appeared too long for com- mercial application to fast-moving webs. Recent improvements in OAUGDP gas com- position, power density, plasma quality, recireulating gas flow, and impedance match- ing of the power supply to the parallel plate plasma reactor have made it possible to raise the surface energy of a variety of polymeric webs (PP, PET PE etc.
) to levels of 60 to 70 dynes/cm with one second of exposure. In air plasmas, the high surface ener- gies are not durable, and fall to 50 dynes/cm after periods of weeks to months. Here, we report the exposure of metallic surfaces, photoresist, polymeric films, and nonwo- ven fabrics made of PP and PET to an impedance matched parallel plate OAUGDP for durations ranging from one second to several tens of seconds. Data will be re- ported on the surface energy, wettability, wickability, and aging effect of polymeric films and fabrics as functions of time of exposure, and time after exposure; the rate and uniformity of photoresist etching; and the production of sub-micron structures by OAUGDP etching at one atmosphere.