Solvent-dependent properties of poly(vinylidene fluoride) monolayers at the air–water interface†
The present work addresses the solvent-dependent properties of Langmuir films of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and amphiphilic poly(N-dodecylacrylamide) (pDDA) at different mixing ratios. After introducing pDDA nanosheets, PVDF Langmuir films obtain a tremendously enhanced modulus as well as high transfer ratios using the vertical dipping method caused by the support of the pDDA two-dimensional hydrogen bonding network. Brewster angle microscopy (BAM) was used to investigate PVDF monolayers at the air–water interface in situ. Spreading from different solvents, the PVDF molecules take completely different aggregation states at the air–water interface. The PVDF molecules aggregate to become large domains when spread from N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). However, the volatile and low-polarity methylethyl ketone (MEK) made the PVDF molecules more dispersive on the water surface. This study also discovers a versatile crystallization control of PVDF homopolymer from complete β phase (NMP) to complete α phase (MEK) at the air–water interface, thereby eliciting useful information for further manipulation of film morphologies and film applications.