Special Issue "Polymer Thin Films"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andriy Voronov

Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymer synthesis and self-assembly; responsive polymer materials including biomaterials and bio-based renewable materials for biomedical and biotechnological applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to introduce a new Special Issue of Coatings, entitled "Polymer Thin Films". When the thickness of a polymer film is smaller than a certain range, the physical properties of this film essentially become different when compared to the bulk polymer properties. This is due to the fact that confinement effects, as well as interfacial interactions, have a growing impact on film physical properties, as the thickness of the film decreases to the range of 5-100 nm. Within last two decades this topic has remained a booming field with high technological potential and important associated research challenges. A significant amount of experimental and computational work was carried out resulting in a constantly increasing number of publications related to thin polymer films research.

Many real-world applications in nanotechnology, catalysis, biomedicine, conversion and storage of energy, etc., are linked to employing polymer thin films. Such films tailor the properties of surfaces and substrates into practical materials and devices, such as biosensors, antifouling coatings, optical storage, patterns, photovoltaic films, etc. Through the precisely-controlled synthetic approach, and the "on-demand" physico-chemical properties (biocompatibility, responsive behavior, controlled wettability, adhesion, morphology, etc.) of thin polymer films, their performance can be even tuned in specific applications, such as corrosion resistance, lubrication, functional membranes, controlled drug release, magnetic films, and many others. Thus, polymer synthesis, polymer film formation mechanism, film chemical composition, and surface properties are main factors that determine the performance of polymer thin films.

The goal of this Special Issue is to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on the synthesis, characterization, and use of polymer thin films in important technological applications. Keeping in mind the interdisciplinary nature of Polymer Thin Films, contributions from scientists representing a broad range of disciplines are encouraged, including (but not limited to) chemists, chemical engineers, materials scientists, engineers, and physicists.

In this Special Issue we are looking for key aspects of polymer thin film design and development, as well as the most recent potential challenges related to polymer thin film technologies and applications. We also encourage contributions from scientists on new concepts and mechanisms of polymer thin films engineering.

The "Polymer Thin Films" Special Issue will consist of invited feature papers, as well as original research articles, from prominent researchers in the field from both academia and industry.

Prof. Dr. Andriy Voronov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Formation

  • Characterization

  • Practical Uses

  • Industrial Applications

  • Antifouling

  • Anticorrosive coatings

  • Biosensors

  • Biomaterials

  • Polymer coatings methods

  • Magnetic coatings

  • Optical coatings

  • Responsive coatings

  • Structural design

  • New concepts of film formation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Poly(o/m-Toluidine)–SiC/Zinc Bilayer Coatings and Evaluation of Their Corrosion Resistances
Coatings 2018, 8(5), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8050180
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this research was to study the structure and corrosion resistance of poly(o/m-toluidine)-SiC/zinc (Zn) bilayer coatings. Poly(o/m-toluidine) films, such as poly(o-toluidine) (POT) and poly(m-toluidine) (PMT), were chemically deposited on the surface of composite SiC/Zn coating using the solution evaporation method. The [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to study the structure and corrosion resistance of poly(o/m-toluidine)-SiC/zinc (Zn) bilayer coatings. Poly(o/m-toluidine) films, such as poly(o-toluidine) (POT) and poly(m-toluidine) (PMT), were chemically deposited on the surface of composite SiC/Zn coating using the solution evaporation method. The structures of poly(o/m-toluidine) were characterized by various optic techniques and the electrochemical behavior was studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The structures and morphologies of the SiC/Zn coating were detected by Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Thereafter, the corrosion resistances of electrodeposited and bilayer coatings were investigated in 3.5% NaCl solution by electrochemical corrosion techniques and an accelerated immersion test. The results showed that the outer POT film exhibits a lower corrosion behavior with respect to PMT, which significantly reduces the corrosion rate of SiC/Zn coating and prolongs the service life of the zinc matrix. The conclusion demontrates that the stronger adsorptive POT film ensures the formed POT–SiC/Zn bilayer coatings possess a compact and low-defect surface, which facilitates POT film to develop its excellent barrier and passivation properties against corrosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Corrosion Characteristics of Electrodeposited Self-Doped Polyaniline Films on Mild Steel in Low Acidity
Coatings 2018, 8(5), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8050155
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Without the addition of inorganic acids, 2,5-Diaminobenzenesulfonic acid (DABSA) molecules form an acid environment, and are then electrochemically copolymerized with AN monomers to generate a self-doped polyaniline (SPAN) film on mild steel substrates. These SPAN deposition films are employed to test the protection [...] Read more.
Without the addition of inorganic acids, 2,5-Diaminobenzenesulfonic acid (DABSA) molecules form an acid environment, and are then electrochemically copolymerized with AN monomers to generate a self-doped polyaniline (SPAN) film on mild steel substrates. These SPAN deposition films are employed to test the protection efficiency for mild steel in a corrosion environment of HCl and NaCl, respectively. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and polarization were used to determine the charge transfer resistance (Rct) and corrosion current (Icorr), respectively. The above two parameters Rct and Icorr are combined to evaluate the protection efficiency of SPAN film on mild steel. Experimental results show that the SPAN thin film with the AN/DABSA ratio of 8.8 has the optimal corrosion resistance in 1 M HCl and 1 M NaCl aqueous solutions, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle Applications of Poly(indole-6-carboxylic acid-co-2,2′-bithiophene) Films in High-Contrast Electrochromic Devices
Coatings 2018, 8(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8030102
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two homopolymers (poly(indole-6-carboxylic acid) (PInc) and poly(2,2′-bithiophene) (PbT)) and a copolymer (poly(indole-6-carboxylic acid-co-2,2′-bithiophene) (P(Inc-co-bT))) are electrodeposited on ITO electrode surfaces via electrochemical method. Electrochemical and electrochromic properties of PInc, PbT, and P(Inc-co-bT) films were characterized using cyclic [...] Read more.
Two homopolymers (poly(indole-6-carboxylic acid) (PInc) and poly(2,2′-bithiophene) (PbT)) and a copolymer (poly(indole-6-carboxylic acid-co-2,2′-bithiophene) (P(Inc-co-bT))) are electrodeposited on ITO electrode surfaces via electrochemical method. Electrochemical and electrochromic properties of PInc, PbT, and P(Inc-co-bT) films were characterized using cyclic voltammetry and in situ UV-Vis spectroscopy. The anodic P(Inc-co-bT) film prepared using Inc./bT = 1/1 feed molar ratio shows high optical contrast (30% at 890 nm) and coloring efficiency (112 cm2 C−1 at 890 nm). P(Inc-co-bT) film revealed light yellow, yellowish green, and bluish grey in the neutral, intermediate, and oxidation states, respectively. Electrochromic devices (ECDs) were constructed using PInc, PbT, or P(Inc-co-bT) film as anodic layer and PEDOT-PSS as cathodic layer. P(Inc-co-bT)/PMMA-PC-ACN-LiClO4/PEDOT-PSS ECD showed high ∆T (31%) at 650 nm, and PInc/PMMA-PC-ACN-LiClO4/PEDOT-PSS ECD displayed high coloration efficiency (416.7 cm2 C−1) at 650 nm. The optical memory investigations of PInc/PMMA-PC-ACN-LiClO4/PEDOT-PSS, PbT/PMMA-PC-ACN-LiClO4/PEDOT-PSS, and P(Inc-co-bT)/PMMA-PC-ACN-LiClO4/PEDOT-PSS ECDs exhibited that ECDs had adequate optical memory in bleaching and coloring states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Covalently Cross-Linked Colloidosomes from Peroxidized Pickering Emulsions
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 20 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4660 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new approach to the formation of cross-linked colloidosomes was developed on the basis of Pickering emulsions that were stabilized exclusively by peroxidized colloidal particles. Free radical polymerization and a soft template technique were used to convert droplets of a Pickering emulsion into [...] Read more.
A new approach to the formation of cross-linked colloidosomes was developed on the basis of Pickering emulsions that were stabilized exclusively by peroxidized colloidal particles. Free radical polymerization and a soft template technique were used to convert droplets of a Pickering emulsion into colloidosomes. The peroxidized latex particles were synthesized in the emulsion polymerization process using amphiphilic polyperoxide copolymers poly(2-tert-butylperoxy-2-methyl-5-hexen-3-ine-co-maleic acid) (PM-1-MAc) or poly[N-(tert-butylperoxymethyl)acrylamide]-co-maleic acid (PM-2-MAc), which were applied as both initiators and surfactants (inisurfs). The polymerization in the presence of the inisurfs results in latexes with a controllable amount of peroxide and carboxyl groups at the particle surface. Peroxidized polystyrene latex particles with a covalently grafted layer of inisurf PM-1-MAc or PM-2-MAc were used as Pickering stabilizers to form Pickering emulsions. A mixture of styrene and/or butyl acrylate with divinylbenzene and hexadecane was applied as a template for the synthesis of colloidosomes. Peroxidized latex particles located at the interface are involved in the radical reactions of colloidosomes formation. As a result, covalently cross-linked colloidosomes were obtained. It was demonstrated that the structure of the synthesized (using peroxidized latex particles) colloidosomes depends on the amount of functional groups and pH during the synthesis. Therefore, the size and morphology of colloidosomes can be controlled by latex particle surface properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Introduction to Advanced X-ray Diffraction Techniques for Polymeric Thin Films
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 24 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
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Abstract
X-ray diffraction has been a standard technique for investigating structural properties of materials. However, most common applications in the organic materials community have been restricted to either chemical identification or qualitative strain analysis. Moreover, its use for polymeric thin films has been challenging [...] Read more.
X-ray diffraction has been a standard technique for investigating structural properties of materials. However, most common applications in the organic materials community have been restricted to either chemical identification or qualitative strain analysis. Moreover, its use for polymeric thin films has been challenging because of the low structure factor of carbon and the thin film nature of the sample. Here, we provide a short review of advanced X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques suitable for polymeric thin films, including the type of analysis that can be done and measurement geometries that would compensate low signals due to low carbon structure factor and the thin film nature of the sample. We will also briefly cover the χ -pole figure for texture analysis of ultra-thin film that has recently become commonly used. A brief review of XRD theory is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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Open AccessReview Preparation and Grafting Functionalization of Self-Assembled Chitin Nanofiber Film
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chitin is a representative biomass resource comparable to cellulose. Although considerable efforts have been devoted to extend novel applications to chitin, lack of solubility in water and common organic solvents causes difficulties in improving its processability and functionality. Ionic liquids have paid much [...] Read more.
Chitin is a representative biomass resource comparable to cellulose. Although considerable efforts have been devoted to extend novel applications to chitin, lack of solubility in water and common organic solvents causes difficulties in improving its processability and functionality. Ionic liquids have paid much attention as solvents for polysaccharides. However, little has been reported regarding the dissolution of chitin with ionic liquids. The author found that an ionic liquid, 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (AMIMBr), dissolved chitin in concentrations up to ~4.8 wt % and the higher contents of chitin with AMIMBr gave ion gels. When the ion gel was soaked in methanol for the regeneration of chitin, followed by sonication, a chitin nanofiber dispersion was obtained. Filtration of the dispersion was subsequently carried out to give a chitin nanofiber film. A chitin nanofiber/poly(vinyl alcohol) composite film was also obtained by co-regeneration approach. Chitin nanofiber-graft-synthetic polymer composite films were successfully prepared by surface-initiated graft polymerization technique. For example, the preparation of chitin nanofiber-graft-biodegradable polyester composite film was achieved by surface-initiated graft polymerization from the chitin nanofiber film. The similar procedure also gave chitin nanofiber-graft-polypeptide composite film. The surface-initiated graft atom transfer radical polymerization was conducted from a chitin macroinitiator film derived from the chitin nanofiber film. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films)
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