Physicochemical and nanomechanical investigation of electrodeposited chitosan:PEO blends
Cathodic electrodeposition is a bottom up process that is emerging as a simple yet efficient strategy to engineer thin polymeric films with well-defined physicochemical properties. In particular, this technique offers the distinctive advantage of an easy control over composition, thickness, and morphology of the films by simply adjusting treatment parameters. In this work, cathodic electrodeposition was exploited to engender blends composed by chitosan (CH) and poly-ethylene-oxide (PEO) with different weight ratios. The physicochemical and nanomechanical properties of the resulting films were successively characterized by integrating Raman and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Our findings demonstrate that electro-deposition is an effective technique for the co-deposition of CH:PEO blends. Moreover, spectroscopic and AFM analyses correlated the physicochemical (i.e. structural organization, bond formation and cross-linking) and nanomechanical properties of the blends to the PEO content, ultimately unveiling the molecular interactions and mechanisms involved in the cathodic deposition of CH:PEO films.