Gradient and Microfluidic Library Approaches to Polymer Interfaces

We present an overview of research conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology aimed at developing and applying combinatorial and high-throughput measurement approaches to polymer surfaces, interfaces and thin films. Topics include (1)

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Gradient and Microfluidic Library Approaches to Polymer Interfaces∗ Michael J. Fasolka, Christopher M. Stafford, and Kathryn L. Beers

Abstract We present an overview of research conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology aimed at developing and applying combinatorial and high-throughput measurement approaches to polymer surfaces, interfaces and thin films. Topics include (1) the generation of continuous gradient techniques for fabricating combinatorial libraries of film thickness, temperature, surface chemistry and polymer blend composition, (2) high-throughput measurement techniques for assessing the mechanical properties and adhesion of surfaces, interfaces and films, and (3) microfluidic approaches to synthesizing and analyzing libraries of interfaciallyactive polymer species.

Contents 1 2 3

Introduction: Surfaces and Interfaces in Polymer Science and Engineering Continuous Gradient Library Techniques Gradient Library Fabrication Methods and Application Examples 3.1 Flow Coating: Polymer Film Thickness Gradients 3.2 Gradient Hot Stage: Temperature Processing Libraries 3.3 Surface Energy and Surface Chemistry Libraries 3.4 Gradient Polymer Brush Libraries 3.5 Polymer Blend Composition Gradients

M.J. Fasolka (B), C.M. Stafford, and K.L. Beers Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] ∗ Official contribution of the National Institute of Standards and Technology; not subject to copyright in the United States. Certain commercial materials and equipment are identified in order to specify adequately experimental procedures. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the items identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.

c Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009 

M.J. Fasolka et al. 4

High-Throughput Materials Testing: Surfaces, Interfaces, and Thin Films 4.1 Thin Film Mechanical Properties 4.2 Adhesion Testing 5 High-Throughput Materials Synthesis and Solution Characterization: Microscale Approaches to Polymer Library Fabrication in Fluids 5.1 Controlled Polymer Synthesis in Microchannels 5.2 Characterization of Interfacially-Active Polymers in Microchannels 6 Conclusions References

1 Introduction: Surfaces and Interfaces in Polymer Science and Engineering The success of a huge range of polymer-based technologies, including advanced coatings and adhesives, electronics materials, complex fluid formulations and biomaterials, hinges on the ability to produce tailored polymer surfaces and interfaces. This is because surface and interfacial properties govern key aspects of product structure and performance, such as film and multilayer stability, mechanical reliability, adhesion, expression of functional moieties, component dispersion, and domain orientation, among others. Research dedicated to the understanding and engi