Surface treatments are commonly used to improve adhesion between materials. A common characterization to predict the adhesion quality consists in measuring the surface energy. We’ll show that a high surface energy is a necessary but not sufficient condition to determine the adhesion quality. Indeed, several treatments giving similar surface energies lead to completely different results for the adhesion force. This can be explained by the various type of chemical functions grafted on the material for each treatment. By carefully controlling the chemistry of the treatment the adhesion force can be improve by a factor 10. Atmospheric plasma allows to control the chemistry of the treatment and select the type of grafted functionalities. It is therefore possible to tailor the treatment parameters to specific adhesive and/or materials combination.