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Title page for ETD etd-12082009-175824

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Spears, Robin Jay
URN etd-12082009-175824
Title Superhydrophobic Polymethylene Films
Degree Master of Science
Department Chemical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
G. Kane Jennings Committee Chair
Paul E. Laibinis Committee Member
  • Superhydrophobicity
Date of Defense 2009-05-25
Availability unrestricted

The preparation, characterization, and stability of polymethylene films grown from metallic surfaces is presented in this thesis. Polymethylene films were produced in a single step surface-initiated polymerization from a borane-modified Au or Ag surface and were shown to exhibit superhydrophobic behavior. The concept of superhydrophobicity is examined as the structure, barrier properities, wettability, and topology of the films are evaluated by utilizing various characterization methods including infrared and electrochemical impedance spectroscopies, contact angle measurements, and atomic force microscopy. The entrapment of air at the air-water interface leads to a tremendous enhancement in film impedance and supports the applicability of these films as protective coatings for objects in contact with aqueous solutions. The stability of the prepared films is probed through chemical and physical exposures to assess the overall stability of the superhydrophobic response. Theories as to how this film property can be broadly utilized is discussed as well as future endeavors from this work.

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