Superhydrophobic Polymethylene Films
Spears, Robin Jay
SUPERHYDROPHOBIC POLYMETHYLENE FILMS The preparation, characterization, and stability of polymethylene films grown from metallic surfaces is presented in this thesis. Polymethylene films were produced in a single step surface-initiated polymerization from a borane-modified Au or Ag surface and were shown to exhibit superhydrophobic behavior. The concept of superhydrophobicity is examined as the structure, barrier properities, wettability, and topology of the films are evaluated by utilizing various characterization methods including infrared and electrochemical impedance spectroscopies, contact angle measurements, and atomic force microscopy. The entrapment of air at the air-water interface leads to a tremendous enhancement in film impedance and supports the applicability of these films as protective coatings for objects in contact with aqueous solutions. The stability of the prepared films is probed through chemical and physical exposures to assess the overall stability of the superhydrophobic response. Theories as to how this film property can be broadly utilized is discussed as well as future endeavors from this work.