Well-defined poly(styrene-block-2-perfluorooctyl ethyl acrylate) [P(St-b-PFA)] copolymers with various chemical compositions were synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization. Films of P(St-b-PFA) were structurally characterized, from bulk to surface, on the basis of transmittance electron microscopic observation and small-angle X-ray scattering, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic, and contact angle measurements. For a comparison, poly(styrene-random-2-perfluorooctyl ethyl acrylate) [P(St-ran-PFA)] copolymers were also synthesized by conventional free radical polymerization. While P(St-b-PFA) with the 2-perfluorooctyl ethyl acrylate (PFA) content higher than 18.7 mol % formed a typical phase-separated cylinder structure, P(St-b-PFA) with a lower PFA content and P(St-ran-PFA) were in a miscible state. Since the perfluoroalkyl groups possess extremely low surface energy, they were preferentially segregated at the film surface, resulting in the formation of the PFA surface layer. This was the case for all P(St-b-PFA) films examined, although the aggregation state at the surface was strongly dependent on the PFA content. In the case of the P(St-b-PFA) with the PFA content higher than 18.7 mol %, both advancing and receding contact angles for water were 120° and even larger with almost no hysteresis. In addition, extremely excellent oil-repellent surface properties such as advancing and receding contact angles for dodecane of 76° and 75° were also observed. However, these intriguing liquid-repellent properties were not observed for the films of miscible P(St-b-PFA) and P(St-ran-PFA). Therefore, it can be concluded that the internal structure beneath the surface as well as the surface itself should be deeply considered to design excellent and stable liquid-repellent materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry