The absorption process of bisphenol A (BPA) in a number of poly(acrylate) thin films, such as poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (PMEA), poly(ethyl acrylate) (PEA), poly(n-butyl methacrylate) (PBMA), and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), has been investigated by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) measurements. Both QCM and IRRAS measurements show that the BPA molecules absorb in PMEA, PEA, and PBMA thin films but not in PMMA thin film. The differences in the BPA absorption behavior are mainly attributed to the difference in the glass transition temperature (Tg) between these polymers. This absorption behavior also depends on the BPA concentration and polymer film thickness. Furthermore, IRRAS characterization demonstrates that the hydrogen bonding is formed between the hydroxyl group in BPA and the carbonyl group in the poly(acrylate) thin films. BPA molecule absorbed in these polymer thin films can be removed by ethanol rinse treatment. By optimizing experimental conditions for the QCM electrode modified by PMEA thin film, detection limitation of ∼1 ppb for BPA can be realized by the in situ QCM measurement. This method is expected to be a sensitive in situ detection way for trace BPA in the environmental study.
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