Title page for ETD etd-05272009-135025

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Yin, Wen
URN etd-05272009-135025
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Esker, Alan R. Committee Chair
Dorn, Harry C. Committee Member
Morris, John R. Committee Member
Riffle, Judy S. Committee Member
Troya, Diego Committee Member
  • Langmuir monolayers
  • surface light scattering
  • polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS)
  • polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
Date of Defense 2009-05-13
Availability restricted
For over a century, Langmuir films have served as excellent two-dimensional model systems for studying the conformation and ordering of amphiphilic molecules at the air/water (A/W) interface. With the equipment of Wilhelmy plate technique, Brewster angle microscopy (BAM), and surface light scattering (SLS), the interfacial phase and rheological behavior of Langmuir films can be investigated. In this dissertation, these techniques are employed to examine Langmuir films of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS), polymer blends, and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs).

In a first time, SLS is employed to study POSS molecules. The interfacial rheological properties of trisilanolisobutyl-POSS (TiBuP) indicate that TiBuP forms a viscoelastic Langmuir film that is almost perfectly elastic in the monolayer state with a maximum dynamic dilational elasticity of around 50 mN∙m-1 prior to film collapse. This result suggests that TiBuP can serve as model nanofiller with polymers.

As an interesting next step, blends of TiBuP and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with different compositions are examined via surface pressure (surface pressure– surface area occupied per molecule (A) isotherms and SLS. The results show that TiBuP, with its attendant water, serves as a plasticizer and lowers the dilational modulus of the films at low surface pressure. As surface pressure increases, composition dependent behavior occurs. Around the collapse pressure of PDMS, the TiBuP component is able to form networks at the A/W interface as PDMS collapse into the upper layer. Blends of non-amphiphilic octaisobutyl-POSS (OiBuP) and PDMS are also studied as an interesting comparison to TiBuP/PDMS blends. In these blends, OiBuP serves as a filler and reinforces the blends prior to the collapse of PDMS by forming “bridge” structure on top of PDMS monolayer. However, OiBuP is non-amphiphilic and fails to anchor PDMS chains to the A/W interface. Hence, OiBuP/PDMS blends exhibit negligible dilational viscoelasticity after the collapse of PDMS.

Furthermore, the phase behavior of PDMS blended with a trisilanol-POSS derivative containing different substituents, trisilanolcyclopentyl-POSS (TCpP), is also investigated via the Wilhelmy plate technique and BAM. These TCpP/PDMS blends exhibit dramatically different phase behavior and morphological features from previously studied POSS/PDMS blends, showing that the organic substituents on trisilanol-POSS have considerable impact on the phase behavior of POSS/PDMS blends.

The interfacial rheological behavior of tricarboxylic acid terminated PDMS (PDMS-Stabilizer) and PDMS stabilized MNPs are investigated and compared with “regular” PDMS containing non-polar end groups. The tricarboxylic acid end group of the PDMS-Stabilizer leads to a different collapse mechanism. The PDMS stabilized MNPs exhibit viscoelastic behavior that is similar to PDMS showing all the tricarboxylic acid end groups are bound to the magnetite cores.

Studying the interfacial behavior of different Langmuir films at the A/W interface provides us insight into the impact of molecule-molecule and molecule-subphase interactions on film morphology and rheology. These results are able to serve as important guides for designing surface films with preferred morphological and mechanical properties.

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