Polymer Science Faculty Research

Title

Interfacial properties of semifluorinated alkane diblock copolymers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 2008

Abstract

The liquid-vapor interfacial properties of semifluorinated linear alkane diblock copolymers of the form F3C(CF2)n−1(CH2)m−1CH3 are studied by fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. The chemical composition and the conformation of the molecules at the interface are identified and correlated with the interfacial energies. A modified form of the Optimized Parameter for Liquid Simulation All-Atom (OPLS-AA) force field of Jorgensen and co-workers [J. Am. Chem. Soc.106, 6638 (1984);118, 11225 (1996);J. Phys. Chem. A105, 4118 (2001)], which includes specific dihedral terms for H–F blocks-and corrections to the H–F nonbonded interaction, is used together with a new version of the exp-6 force field developed in this work. Both force fields yield good agreement with the available experimental liquid density and surface tension data as well as each other over significant temperature ranges and for a variety of chain lengths and compositions. The interfacial regions of semifluorinated alkanes are found to be rich in fluorinated groups compared to hydrogenated groups, an effect that decreases with increasing temperature but is independent of the fractional length of the fluorinated segments. The proliferation of fluorine at the surface substantially lowers the surface tension of the diblock copolymers, yielding values near those of perfluorinated alkanes and distinct from those of protonated alkanes of the same chain length. With decreasing temperatures within the liquid state, chains are found to preferentially align perpendicular to the interface, as previously seen.

Volume

128

First Page

214903