Chemical and electrical modification of polypropylene surfaces
Although many multi-component polymer systems are well characterised, the surface properties of polymers mixed with low surface energy additives have received little attention. In addition, the new branches of scanning probe microscopy that enable high resolution mapping and modification of surface charge distributions have been infrequently applied to polymer surfaces. The surface segregation of a fluorochemical additive directly from a polypropylene host matrix has been investigated by AFM and other surface analysis techniques. The level of surface enrichment was found to be governed by the temperature and duration of annealing. Further investigation revealed that the speed and extent of surface enrichment of the additive increases with polymer molecular weight. The effect of additive structure on surface segregation has also reported. A method of depositing charge onto polypropylene substrates from a high potential scanning AFM tip was developed. The relation between AFM tip- voltage and the level of charge deposited on the substrate suggested that a localised corona discharge was generated. AFM scanning parameters were found to effect the deposition of charge. The charging behavior of fluorochemical doped polypropylene surfaces was investigated on macroscopic scales using a scanning electrometer probe, and on microscopic scales using EFM. Fluorochemical domains at the surface have been found to preferentially accumulate both positive and negative charge. Surface charge distributions were found to become more uniform during annealing. Sub-micron particle capture by charged surfaces was investigated using EFM. In addition, spatially confined amine beads were deposited onto a patch of localised charge and subsequently functionalised to produce a metallic gold coating.