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Materials 2016, 9(6), 431; doi:10.3390/ma9060431

Microstructured Polymer Blend Surfaces Produced by Spraying Functional Copolymers and Their Blends

Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (ICTP-CSIC), C/Juan de la Cierva 3, Madrid 28006, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Volker Altstädt
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 24 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Blends and Compatibilization)
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We described the fabrication of functional and microstructured surfaces from polymer blends by spray deposition. This simple technique offers the possibility to simultaneously finely tune the microstructure as well as the surface chemical composition. Whereas at lower polymer concentration, randomly distributed surface micropatterns were observed, an increase of the concentration leads to significant changes on these structures. On the one hand, using pure homopolystyrene fiber-like structures were observed when the polymer concentration exceeded 30 mg/mL. Interestingly, the incorporation of 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorostyrene changed the morphology, and, instead of fibers, micrometer size particles were identified at the surface. These fluorinated microparticles provide superhydrophobic properties leading to surfaces with contact angles above 165°. Equally, in addition to the microstructures provided by the spray deposition, the use of thermoresponsive polymers to fabricate interfaces with responsive properties is also described. Contact angle measurements revealed variations on the surface wettability upon heating when blends of polystyrene and polystyrene-b-poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) are employed. Finally, the use of spraying techniques to fabricate gradient surfaces is proposed. Maintaining a constant orientation, the surface topography and thus the contact angle varies gradually from the center to the edge of the film depending on the spray angle. View Full-Text
Keywords: spray deposition; polymer blends; amphiphilic copolymers; thermoresponsive surfaces; superhydrophobicity spray deposition; polymer blends; amphiphilic copolymers; thermoresponsive surfaces; superhydrophobicity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Vargas-Alfredo, N.; Rodríguez Hernández, J. Microstructured Polymer Blend Surfaces Produced by Spraying Functional Copolymers and Their Blends. Materials 2016, 9, 431.

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