24/7 Space News
TECH SPACE
'Magic' solvent creates stronger thin films
Thin film morphology of p4VP deposited with and without a vapor solvent.
'Magic' solvent creates stronger thin films
by Staff Writers
Ithaca NY (SPX) Feb 15, 2023

A new all-dry polymerization technique uses reactive vapors to create thin films with enhanced properties, such as mechanical strength, kinetics and morphology. The synthesis process is gentler on the environment than traditional high-temperature or solution-based manufacturing and could lead to improved polymer coatings for microelectronics, advanced batteries and therapeutics.

"This scalable technique of initiated chemical vapor deposition polymerization allows us to make new materials, without redesigning or revamping the whole chemistry. We just simply add an 'active' solvent," said Rong Yang, assistant professor in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Cornell Engineering. "It's a little bit like a Lego. You team up with a new connecting piece. There's a ton you can build now that you couldn't do before."

This micrograph image shows an initiated chemical vapor deposition coating made by doctoral student Pengyu Chen in the lab of Rong Yang, assistant professor in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Cornell Engineering.

Yang collaborated on the project with Jingjie Yeo, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Shefford Baker, associate professor of materials science and engineering.

The group's paper, "Engineering Solvation in Initiated Chemical Vapour Deposition for Control over Polymerization Kinetics and Material Properties," published Feb. 9 in Nature Synthesis. The lead author is doctoral student Pengyu Chen. Yang and Yeo are co-senior authors.

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is a common process used to make defect-free inorganic nanolayer materials in semiconductor manufacturing and in the production of computer microchips. Because the process requires materials to be heated at 1,000s of degrees, organic polymers do not fare well. CVD polymerization techniques such as initiated CVD (iCVD) are low-temperature counterparts developed for polymer synthesis. However, it is also limiting, Yang said, because "over the years, people have grown to the boundary of the chemistry you can make with this method."

Yang's lab studies how vapor-deposited polymers interact with bacterial pathogens and how bacteria, in turn, colonize polymeric coatings, from the paint used in ship hulls to the coating for biomedical devices. She and Chen sought to develop a different approach to diversify CVD polymers by borrowing a concept from conventional solutions synthesis: the use of a "magic" solvent, i.e., an inert vapor molecule, that isn't incorporated into the final material, but instead interacts with a precursor in a way that produces new material properties at room temperature.

"It's an old chemistry but with new features," Yang said.

The solvent in this case interacted with a common CVD monomer via hydrogen-bonding.

"It is a novel mechanism, although the concept is simple and elegant," Chen said. "Building on this interesting strategy, we are developing a robust and generalizable science of solvation engineering."

Yang and Chen then turned to Yeo, whose lab simulated the molecular dynamics behind the solvent and monomer interaction, and how their stoichiometry, or chemical balance, could be tuned.

"We distinguished the effects of different solvents at the molecular scale and we clearly observed which solvent molecules were more inclined to bind with the monomer," Yeo said. "Thus, we can eventually screen which Lego pieces will be able to fit best with each other."

The researchers brought the resulting thin film to Baker's lab, which used nanoindentation testing to study it and found that the solvation mechanism had strengthened the material. The solvent also caused the polymer coating to grow faster and change its morphology.

This method can now be applied to various methacrylate and vinyl monomers - for essentially anything with a polymer coating, such as the dielectric materials in microelectronics, the anti-fouling coating in ship hulls, and the separation membranes that enable purification in wastewater treatment. The technique could also allow researchers to manipulate the permeability of pharmaceutical products for controlled drug release.

"This adds a new dimension to materials design. You can imagine all kinds of solvents that could form hydrogen-bonding with the monomer and manipulate the reaction kinetics differently. Or you can have solvent molecules incorporated into your material permanently, if you design the molecular interaction correctly," Yang said. "There's so much to explore with this added degree of freedom going forward."

Research Report:Engineering solvation in initiated chemical vapour deposition for control over polymerization kinetics and material properties

Related Links
Cornell University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters
Tweet

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
TECH SPACE
Researchers detail never-before-seen properties in a family of superconducting Kagome metals
Providence RI (SPX) Feb 13, 2023
Dramatic advances in quantum computing, smartphones that only need to be charged once a month, trains that levitate and move at superfast speeds. Technological leaps like these could revolutionize society, but they remain largely out of reach as long as superconductivity - the flow of electricity without resistance or energy waste - isn't fully understood. One of the major limitations for real-world applications of this technology is that the materials that make superconducting possible typically ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
TECH SPACE
Roscosmos is delaying the launch of the replacement Soyuz for crew return

NASA, partners clear Axiom's second private astronaut mission crew

Spacecraft controllers aim for the heights

NASA launches new Framework for Procurement Ideas, Solutions

TECH SPACE
Japan's H3 rocket fails to leave the launch pad

The roar and crackle of Artemis 1

Russian Progress cargo craft docks at space station suffers loss of coolant

NASA conducts first 2023 test of redesigned SLS rocket engine

TECH SPACE
Study quantifies global impact of electricity in dust storms on Mars

Complex subsurface of Mars imaged by Chinese rover Zhurong

Perseverance shows off collection of Mars samples

Cloud gazing while we get ready to drill: Sols 3739-3741

TECH SPACE
China's space station experiments pave way for new space technology

Large number of launches planned

Chinese astronauts complete first walk outside Tiangong space station

Shenzhou XV astronauts take their first spacewalk

TECH SPACE
SpaceX launches 55 Starlink satellites early Sunday morning

FCC greenlights Amazon's Project Kuiper to deploy 3,236 satellites in LEO

Women and girls in science: the team helping to take us to Mars

AccelerComm, TTP set to soar with 5G NTN LEO Space Cell

TECH SPACE
'Magic' solvent creates stronger thin films

Space Station research announcement for advanced materials and manufacturing open now

Astroscale wins Dstl funding for exploration of future Space-Based Space Domain Awareness missions

Sidius Space reaches an agreement with a Dutch organization to Deploy Lasercom Mission

TECH SPACE
Four classes of planetary systems

Team Aims To Find Earth 2.0

New models shed light on life's origin

Researchers focus AI on finding exoplanets

TECH SPACE
JUICE's final take-off before lift-off

A new ring system discovered in our Solar System

SwRI models explain canyons on Pluto moon

NASA's Juno Team assessing camera after 48th flyby of Jupiter

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.