Spreading of volatile fluids on swelling hydrophobic polymer brush layers

Özlem Kap, Simon Hartmann (Contributor), Harmen Jan Hoek (Contributor), Sissi de Beer (Contributor), Igor Sîretanu (Contributor), Uwe Thiele (Contributor), Frieder Mugele (Contributor)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Polymer brushes are highly responsive materials with application areas in a broad spectrum. Therefore understanding their interfacial behaviour is essential. Under good solvent conditions, drop spreading causes changes in wettability on the brush surface and results in a finite contact angle. This feature was observed by placing a hexadecane drop on a dry hydrophobic poly lauryl methacrylate (PLMA) brush layer. These polymer brushes were synthesized via ARGET-ATRP to obtain high and low grafting densities and different chain lengths. In a closed chamber, that contained an excess of hexadecane, the spreading of the drop on the polymer brushes was followed by an optical microscope. As a result of the complex dynamics between the drop and the substrate, a halo of a few millimetres in width forms around the macroscopic contact line. A numeric model was extended to simulate such a droplet spreading on a swollen brush for understanding the coupled spreading, evaporation, condensation and wicking dynamics. A continuous gradual flux from liquid to brush, liquid to vapor, and brush to vapor can explain the partially wetting of the polymer brushes in this non-equilibrium state. Understanding the spreading dynamics of a droplet on hydrophobic surfaces will be crucial to explaining the mechanism of the halo formation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022
Event2nd Bordeaux Polymer Conference, BPC 2022 - Boredeaux, France
Duration: 13 Jun 202216 Jun 2022
Conference number: 2


Conference2nd Bordeaux Polymer Conference, BPC 2022
Abbreviated titleBPC 2022


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