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Modifying Polyester Surfaces with Incompatible Polymer Additives

James, Christopher D.; Jeynes, Christopher; Barradas, Nuno P.; Clifton, Luke; Dalgliesh, Robert M.; Smith, Rebecca F.; Sankey, Stephen W.; Hutchings, Lian R.; Thompson, Richard L.

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Christopher D. James

Christopher Jeynes

Nuno P. Barradas

Luke Clifton

Robert M. Dalgliesh

Rebecca F. Smith

Stephen W. Sankey


Surface modification of amorphous PET in incompatible blends is demonstrated using fluorocarbon end-functional polystyrenes. Contact angles with water and decane were consistent with high levels of surface fluorocarbon, even for spin-cast films with no further processing required. Hydrophobicity and lipophobicity were further increased by annealing above the glass transition temperature. High resolution depth profiling using complementary ion beam analysis and specular neutron reflectometry has enabled accurate characterisation of the composition profile of the additive including the minimum in additive concentration found just below the surface enriched layer. This analysis quantified the very low compatibility between the modifying polymer and the amorphous PET and was consistent with the highly segregated nature of the adsorbing species and its sharp interface with the subphase. For these incompatible polymer blends, surfaces enriched with the surface active polymer could coexist at equilibrium with extremely low (∼0.4%) bulk loadings of the additive. This suggests that for thicker films at even lower additive concentrations than the minimum 1% that we studied, it may be possible to achieve efficient surface modification. However, at this concentration, the efficiency of surface modification is limited by the processing conditions. Finally we note that in higher loadings of surface active additive there is clear evidence for lateral phase separation into patterned domains of differing composition. The enhancement in surface properties is due to local reorganisation rather than bulk redistribution of the components within the film, as the composition versus depth distributions of the polymer blend components was observed to be relatively unaffected by annealing.


James, C. D., Jeynes, C., Barradas, N. P., Clifton, L., Dalgliesh, R. M., Smith, R. F., …Thompson, R. L. (2015). Modifying Polyester Surfaces with Incompatible Polymer Additives. Reactive and Functional Polymers, 89, 40-48.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2015
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2015
Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2016
Journal Reactive and Functional Polymers
Print ISSN 1381-5148
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 89
Pages 40-48
Keywords Polyester, Blends, Surfaces, Scattering, Reflectometry.


Accepted Journal Article (767 Kb)

Copyright Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Reactive and Functional Polymers. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Reactive and Functional Polymers, 89, April 2015, 10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2015.03.002.

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