Interfacial activity of particles at PI/PDMS and PI/PIB interfaces: analysis based on Girifalco–Good theory
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Particles that are partially wetted by oil and water are known to adsorb at oil/water interfaces. By the same mechanism, particles that are partially wetted by two immiscible polymers should adsorb at the interface between those two polymers. However, since chemical differences between immiscible polymers are relatively modest, particle adsorption at polymer/polymer interfaces may be expected to be relatively uncommon. We have conducted experiments with several particle types added to two pairs of model polymers, polyisoprene/polydimethylsiloxane and polyisoprene/polyisobutylene. Contrary to our expectation, in every case, particles readily adsorbed at the polymer/polymer interfaces. We evaluated the Girifalco–Good theory as a means to predict the interfacial activity of the particles. The solid surface energy required by the Girifalco–Good theory was assumed to be equal to the critical surface tension, which was then found by float/sink tests. Our results suggest that this approach is not able to predict the observed interfacial activity of particles at polymer/polymer interfaces.
KeywordsInterfacial tension Pickering emulsion Immiscible polymer blends Wettability Colloids
We are grateful to Elementis, Dyneon, and Prof. Phule (University of Pittsburgh) for making the particles available for this research. We thank Rhodia Silicones, Soltex Chemicals, and Kuraray America for providing the PDMS, PIB, and PI homopolymers, respectively. We thank Prof. Barnard, University of Pittsburgh, for the use of his pendant drop apparatus for measuring surface tensions, and Hsin-Ling Cheng and Melissa Angeles, University of Pittsburgh, for obtaining SEM images. This research was supported by a CAREER grant CBET-0448845 from the National Science Foundation, USA.
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