For the chemical composition of each sample surface, diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) measurements were performed at ambient conditions. For this purpose, a Shimadzu Fourier transform spectrometer (IRPrestige-21, Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan) equipped with the diffuse reflectance measuring apparatus DRS-8000 was used [30,31]. Measurements were repeated at three different surface sites to ensure surface homogeneity. For each sample, two spectra were recorded: a spectral survey (500–4000 cm−1 resolution: 4 wavenumbers, 100 repetitions) followed by a detailed recording for the C–H stretching region [26,32] (2800–3100 cm−1 resolution: 1 wavenumber, 300 repetitions). The overall reference for the a-C:H data analysis is the O2 plasma-cleaned PA6 sample, as each one has been O2 plasma pretreated. FTIR Control Software (software version 1.30, Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto, Japan) was used for a two-step spectral evaluation: a multipoint baseline insertion with the integrated manipulation tool and afterwards a smoothing manipulation.

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