Directed Deposition of Functional Polymers onto Structured Materials and Liquid Surfaces

Malancha Gupta

This talk will present the mechanism, kinetics, and potential applications associated with the vapor phase deposition of functional polymers onto structured materials and liquid surfaces. Vapor phase deposition eliminates the need for organic solvents and thereby offers a safer and cleaner alternative to liquid phase polymer processing. I will demonstrate our ability to pattern functional polymers onto structured materials such as microfluidic devices and biomedical implants. I will also present our recent work demonstrating deposition onto liquids with negligible vapor pressures such as ionic liquids (ILs) and silicone oils. The polymer morphology at the liquid/vapor interface is controlled by the surface tension interaction between the polymer and the liquid. Our ability to controllably tailor the polymer morphology at the interface allows for the design of ultrathin free-standing polymer films, micron-scaled particles, and core-shell particles. Polymerization can also occur within the liquid layer allowing for the fabrication of polymer/IL composite films. The final portion of my talk will discuss deposition onto low-temperature substrates. Lowering the temperature of the substrate below the freezing point of the monomer leads to the formation of macroporous polymer membranes. These membranes can be deposited onto porous substrates to create hierarchical porous-on-porous structures that enable improved filtration for water purification and sensor applications.