Cracking polymer coatings of paper-like surfaces: Control via block co-polymer structure and system composition

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Degree programme
Applied Surface Science, Volume 640
Dissipative particle dynamics simulations are employed to examine the self-assembly of a three-component polymeric coating on a hydrophilic surface. The examined suspension is composed of an amphiphilic di-block co-polymer, a hydrophobic polymer, and a hydrophilic stabilizer in water. For technological relevance, the basis hydrophobic and hydrophilic polymer contents correspond to poly(styrene-co-n-butyl acrylate) and to starch, respectively, while the hydrophilic surface resembles unmodified cellulose. We show that the amphiphilic di-block co-polymer is key in controlling the assembling coating structure: symmetric co-polymers form well-ordered lamellar coatings, while asymmetric ones lead to advanced patterning in the film. This response persists over a broad composition range of additional hydrophobic material. We also map the sensitivity of the results to polymer chemistry by variation of the interaction parameters. Finally, we show that the presence of excess free stabilizer in the coating solution can disrupt the homogeneity of the film, potentially deteriorating coating quality in practical applications. The findings stress the importance of block compositions and component concentrations as fundamental means to tune surface coating films and their internal structure.
Funding Information: This work was supported by Business Finland Co-Innovation grant No. 3767/31/2019 (M.S.) and the Academy of Finland through its Centres of Excellence Programme (2022–2029, LIBER) under project no. 346111 (M.S.). The authors acknowledge discussions with Anneli Lepo, Kemira Oyj, Finland. We are grateful for the support by FinnCERES Materials Bioeconomy Ecosystem. Computational resources by CSC IT Centre for Finland and RAMI – RawMatters Finland Infrastructure are also gratefully acknowledged. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s)
Amphiphilic self-assembly, Assembly morphology, Block co-polymer, Hydrophilic surface, Polymer film, Surface functionalization
Other note
Hasheminejad, K, Scacchi, A, Javan Nikkhah, S & Sammalkorpi, M 2023, ' Cracking polymer coatings of paper-like surfaces: Control via block co-polymer structure and system composition ', Applied Surface Science, vol. 640, 158324 .