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Gilcreest, VP,Carroll, WM,Rochev, YA,Blute, I,Dawson, KA,Gorelov, AV
Thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) copolymers: Contact angles and surface energies of polymer films
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Surface properties of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) copolymer films were studied by contact angle measurements and optical and atomic force microscopy. We prepared a series of copolymers of N-isopropylacrylamide with N-tert-butylacrylamide (NtBA) in order of increasing hydrophobicity. The measurements of the advancing contact angle of water at 37 degreesC were hampered by the observation of a distinct stick/slip pattern on all polymers in the series with the exception of poly(NtBA) (PNtBA). We attributed this behavior to the film deformation by the vertical component of liquid surface tension leading to the pinning of the moving contact line. This was confirmed by the observation of a ridge formed at the pinned contact line by optical microscopy. However, meaningful contact (without the stick/slip pattern and with a time-independent advancing contact angle) angles for this thermoresponsive polymer series could be obtained with carefully selected organic liquids. We used the Li and Neumann equation of state to calculate the surface energy and contact angles of water for all polymers in the series of copolymers and van Oss, Chaudhury, and Good (vOCG) acid-base theory for PNtBA. The surface energies of the thermoresponsive polymers were in the range of 38.9 mJ/m(2) (PNIPAM) to 31 mJ/m(2) (PNtBA) from the equation of state approach. The surface energy of PNtBA calculated using vOCG theory was 29.0 mJ/m(2). The calculated contact angle for PNIPAM (74.5 +/- 0.2degrees) is compared with previously reported contact angles obtained for PNIPAM-modified surfaces.
DOI 10.1021/la0487996
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