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Issue 23, 2017
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Roughening up polymer microspheres and their diffusion in a liquid

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Abstract

A simple, versatile approach for the roughening of polymer microparticles surfaces via a deformation technique in the presence of an inorganic matrix is presented here. The process consists of straightforward steps: (1) preparation of a bicomposite colloidal sol, that is polymer particles and inorganic particles, dispersed in a liquid, (2) drying of the mixture onto a suitable hard substrate, (3) heating the dried film above the glass transition temperature of the polymer, and (4) re-dispersion and chemical etching of the inorganic medium. The primary driver is capillary imbibition of the polymer melt into the inorganic colloidal template. In addition, 2D particle tracking experiments of dispersed rough particles in water were performed to probe the diffusional behaviour of the roughened objects in comparison with their smooth precursors. We show that, despite large scale roughness (up to 10% asperity size with respect to particle diameter), Stokes law is obeyed and the particle motion can be modelled simply with the Stokes–Einstein–Sutherland relation.

Graphical abstract: Roughening up polymer microspheres and their diffusion in a liquid

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Mar 2017, accepted on 12 May 2017 and first published on 23 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00589J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 4285-4293
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    Roughening up polymer microspheres and their diffusion in a liquid

    B. W. Longbottom, B. Somuncuoğlu, J. J. Punter, S. Longbottom and S. A. F. Bon, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 4285
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00589J

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