Characterization and Control of the Wettability of Conducting Polymer Thin Films
Author(s)Hunter, Ian; Chang, Jean H.
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The wettability of electrochemically deposited conducting polymer films is highly dependent on several parameters including the deposition conditions, the dopant, and the roughness of the working electrode. To produce superhydrophobic surfaces, one must be able to control the micro and nanostructure of the film. In this study, a template-free method of producing superhydrophobic (water contact angle of 154°) polypyrrole films was demonstrated. The polypyrrole was doped with the low surface-energy heptadecafluorooctanesulfonic acid and had microstructures with nanometer-scale roughness. The microstructures served to increase the roughness of the film and amplify the hydrophobicity of the surface. It is also of interest to be able to dynamically adjust the wettability of a polypyrrole surface after deposition. Applications of this functionality include microfluidics, self-cleaning surfaces, liquid lenses, and smart textiles. By oxidizing or reducing a polypyrrole film, one can change the surface morphology as well as the chemical composition, and control the wettability of the surface. This study characterizes the electrochemically-induced changes in surface energy of polypyrrole. The relationship between applied voltage, charge transferred, surface roughness, and water contact angle was investigated. Upon reduction, the polypyrrole film was switched to a superhydrophilic state and the maximum change in contact angle was observed to be 154°. Surface wettability was found to be not fully reversible, with some hysteresis occurring after the first electrochemical cycle.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Materials Research Society (MRS) symposia proceedings
Materials Research Society
Chang, Jean, and Ian W. Hunter. “Characterization and Control of the Wettability of Conducting Polymer Thin Films.” Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings. 2009. ©Materials Research Society 2010
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