Title page for ETD etd-05142009-143351

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cashion, Matthew Paul
Author's Email Address mcashion@vt.edu
URN etd-05142009-143351
Title Photo-reactive Surfactant and Macromolecular Supramolecular Structures
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Long, Timothy E. Committee Chair
Davis, Richey M. Committee Member
Madsen, Louis A. Committee Member
Moore, Robert B. Committee Member
Turner, S. Richard Committee Member
  • photo-curing
  • gemini surfactants
  • n-butyl acrylate
  • 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate
  • cinnamate
  • hydrogen bonding
  • adhesives
  • electrospinning
  • photo-rheology
Date of Defense 2009-04-30
Availability unrestricted
For the first time nonwoven fibrous scaffolds were electrospun from a low molar mass gemini ammonium surfactant, N,N’-didodecyl-N,N,N’,N’-tetramethyl-N,N’-ethanediyl-di-ammonium dibromide (12-2-12). Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and solution rheological experiments revealed micellar morphological transitions of 12-2-12 in water and water:methanol (1:1 vol). Electrospinning efforts of 12-2-12 from water did not produce fibers at any concentration, however, electrospinning 12-2-12 in water:methanol at concentrations greater than 2C* produced, hydrophilic continuous fibers with diameters between 0.9 and 7 μm.

Photo-reactive surfactants were synthesized to electrospin robust surfactant membranes. Before electrospinning it was important to fundamentally understand the structure-property relationship of gemini surfactants. The thermal and solution properties were explored for a series of ammonium gemini surfactants using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarized light microscopy (PLM), and conductivity experiments. The Kraft temperature (Tk) was measured in water and water:methanol (1:1 vol) to investigate the influence of solvent on the surfactant solution properties.

Other experiments investigate how associated photo-curable architectures are applicable in macromolecular architectures, to gain a fundamental understanding of how hydrogen bonding associations influence the photo-reactivity of functionalized acrylic copolymers. Novel hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives (HMPSAs) were developed from acrylic terpolymers of 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (EHA), 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA), and methyl acrylate (MA) functionalized with hydrogen bonding and photo-reactive functionalities. The synergy of hydrogen bonding and photo-reactivity resulted in higher peel values and rates of cinnamate photo-reactivity with increasing urethane concentration.

Random copolymers of poly(n-butyl acrylate (nBA)-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA)) were functionalized with hydrogen bonding and photo-reactive groups to explore the photo-curing of associated macromolecular architectures. The influence of urethane hydrogen bonding on the photo-reactivity of cinnamate-functionalized acrylics was investigated with photo-rheology and UV-vis spectroscopy. Cinnamate-functionalized samples displayed an increase in modulus with exposure time, and the percentage increase in modulus decreased as the urethane content increased. The synergy of hydrogen bonding and photo-reactive groups resulted in higher rates of cinnamate photo-reactivity with increasing urethane concentration.

Electrospun fibers were in situ photo-crosslinked to develop fibrous membranes from cinnamate functionalized low Tg acrylics. Electrospinning was conducted approximately 55 °C above the Tg of the cinnamate acrylate and the electrospun fibers did not retain their fibrous morphology without photo-curing. However, electrospun fibers were collected that retained their fibrous morphology and resisted flow when in situ photo-cured during electrospinning. The intermolecular photo-dimerization of cinnamates resulted in a network formation that prevented the low Tg cinnamate acrylate from flowing.

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