Fluorosurfactant Self-Assembly at Solid/Liquid Interfaces

Fluorosurfactants have some unique properties that are advantageously used in a range of applications. Their solutions are commonly in contact with solid surfaces onto which the molecules adsorb. Despite this, the adsorption behavior of fluorosurfactants at solid/liquid interfaces is not sufficiently understood, and there is a need for more information. In this study we focus on cationic fluorosurfactant adsorption on negatively charged hydrophilic surfaces, especially with respect to the adsorbed layer structure, longrange interactions, and adhesion forces. To this end we combined results obtained from bimorph and interferometric surface force instrumentsandellipsometry techniques.The initial adsorption to the oppositely charged surfaces occurs due to the electrostatic attraction between the charged headgroups and the surface. Further adsorption, driven by hydrophobic interactions, occurs readily as the surfactant concentration is increased. Surface force and ellipsometric experiments indicate that the surfactants self-assemble in the form of bilayer aggregates. The thickness of the bilayer aggregates was found to be consistent with the molecular structure. Further, ellipsometric measurements indicate that no complete bilayers were formed but rather that bilayer aggregates were present on the surface even at concentrations well above the cmc. Surface force data for low fluorosurfactant concentrations demonstrate that upon compression the bilayer aggregates assembled on the isolated surfaces are transformed, and as a result monolayer structures build up between the surfaces in contact. The force required to attain bilayer-bilayer contact increases with the surfactant bulk concentration due to an increase in the repulsive double-layer force. The force required to drive out surfactant molecules to achieve monolayer-monolayer contact also increases with surfactant concentration. Above the cmc some additional aggregates are present on top of the bilayer aggregates coating the surface. The adhesion found between the monolayer aggregates is an order of magnitude larger than between the bilayer aggregates. However, it is an order of magnitude lower than the corresponding value for Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer films of similar fluorosurfactants.

Rojas, Orlando J., Lubica Macakova, Eva Blomberg, Åsa Emmer, Per M. Claesson







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