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Combinatorial Mapping of Polymer Film Wettability on Gradient Energy Surfaces



K M. Ashley, A Sehgal, Eric J. Amis, D T. Raghavan, Alamgir Karim


The use of combinatorial methods for studying dewetting of thin hydrophobic polystyrene (PS) and hydrophilic poly d-lacticacid (PDLA) films on chemically modified gradient energy surfaces was studied. Substrate libraries were prepared by immersing Si-H (passivated Si) in Piranha solution (H2SO4/H2O2/H2O) at a controlled rate giving a systematic variation of solvent contact angles across the surface. Additionally, chlorosilane treated Si surfaces were exposed to UV radiation in a gradient fashion under ozone atmosphere such that a range from hydrophobic to hydrophilic was obtained across the surface (3 cm approx.). Multiple solvents (water and diiodo methane) were used to quantify the spatial variation of surface energy along one axis across the surface. Libraries of thin films of PS or PDLA coatings on gradient energy surfaces orthogonal to gradients in film thickness were screened for dewetting behavior using automated optical microscopy. Contrasting trends in the wettability of PS and PDLA were visibly apparent as a function of surface energy of the substrate. The number density of polygons of the dewet PS films was found to obey a power law relationship with both film thickness and substrate surface hydrophilicity.
Materials Research Society Symposium


combinatorial method, dewetting, high throughput, nucleated, polymer thin films, surface energy gradient


Ashley, K. , Sehgal, A. , Amis, E. , Raghavan, D. and Karim, A. (2002), Combinatorial Mapping of Polymer Film Wettability on Gradient Energy Surfaces, Materials Research Society Symposium, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created January 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017