The wettability of fluoropolymer surfaces: influence of surface dipoles

Langmuir. 2008 May 6;24(9):4817-26. doi: 10.1021/la700902h. Epub 2008 Apr 5.


The wettabilities of fluorinated polymers were evaluated using a series of contacting probe liquids ranging in nature from nonpolar aprotic to polar aprotic to polar protic. Fully fluorinated polymers were wet less than partially fluorinated polymers, highlighting the weak dispersive interactions of fluorocarbons. For partially fluorinated polymers, the interactions between the distributed dipoles along the polymer backbone and the dipoles of the contacting liquids were evaluated using both polar and nonpolar probe liquids. The results demonstrate that the surface dipoles of the fluoropolymers generated by substituting fluorine atoms with hydrogen or chlorine atoms can strongly interact with polar contacting liquids. The wettabilities of the partially fluorinated polymers were enhanced by increasing the density of dipoles across the surfaces and by introducing differentially distributed dipoles.