We have investigated the mechanism of the superior mechanical robustness of coated thin films of the catechol derivative urushiol. We synthesized hydrogenated urushiol (h-urushiol) by hydrogenating the double bonds in the long alkyl side chain of urushiol, and the physical properties of thin films of mixtures of urushiol and h-urushiol were evaluated. Atomic force microscopy observations revealed that these coated thin films have a homogeneous surface with no phase separation, regardless of the h-urushiol content, arising from the similarity of the chemical structures. The films showed good adhesive properties because the adhesion originates from the catechol structure. In contrast, curing time depended strongly upon the h-urushiol content. The curing of the h-urushiol thin film took 12 h, whereas the urushiol thin film was cured within 10 min. Moreover, the strain-induced elastic buckling instability for mechanical measurements test and the bulge test confirmed that the increase in the h-urushiol content decreased the mechanical strength. Because the double bonds in the urushiol side chain contribute to forming the highly cross-linked structure, the lack of double bonds in hurushiol resulted in the slow curing and low mechanical strength. Interestingly, the mechanical robustness started to increase over 80 mol % h-urushiol. The saturated long alkyl side chain of h-urushiol faced the surface, and the regular structure of the uniform side chain may improve the mechanical properties of the coated film. Our results will help to develop biomimetic catechol-based coatings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces