Influence of Aqueous Environment on Surface Molecular Mobility and Surface Microphase Separated Structure of Segmented Poly(ether urethanes) and Segmented Poly(ether urethane ureas)

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Segmented poly(ether urethanes) (SPUs) and segmented poly(ether urethane ureas) (SPUUs) with various hard and soft segment components were prepared. The surface characterization of SPU and SPUU in aqueous environment was done by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, XPS and dynamic contact angle measurements. XPS revealed that in the hydrated state, the component with the higher surface free energy is enriched on the surfaces of SPU and SPUU in order to minimize the interfacial free energy. The SPU and SPUU with hydrophilic soft segment showed the large increase in surface tension after immersing in water environment. It has been revealed that the surface molecular mobility reflects the bulk molecular mobility. Also, the effect of introduction of a fluorocarbon-containing diol into hard segment was investigated. The fluorocarbon chains in the diol of the hard segment did not influence the surface characteristics of SPU due to the bulky structure of diphenylmethane group.