Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possibility of surfaces that can be manipulated

Date:
January 4, 2013
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
A chemist has studied a number of polymer blends that can be used to produce manipulatable surfaces.

A chemist of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has studied a number of polymer blends that can be used to produce manipulatable surfaces.

Using new combinations of well-known polymers is one way of producing new materials. For this work, the use of polymers that respond to external stimuli are of particular interest, and is the line followed by the chemist Leire Ruiz-Rubio in the research for her PhD thesis. She has studied the blending of certain polymers that can be controlled when the conditions of their medium (the pH or temperature, for example) have been altered.Once the behaviour of these polymers is known, it is possible to design new materials to use in many different applications."We do basic chemistry; in other words, we study the behaviour of these polymers in more and more advanced conditions, and then the applications that can be developed thanks to these materials will be sought." Ruiz has in fact studied the polymer blends first of all in solution and then when they are on a solid surface.

The aim was to find out the conditions in which polymer chains disperse and when they end up joined together.Having examined that, Ruiz went on to study how the conditions can be manipulated, so that the material formed by the polymer blend can be altered from a dense layer to one with holes.

The blends in this research were produced by adding one of each of the two polymer groups.In one group there were polyacids, in other words, proton donors (acrylic polyacid and methacrylicpolyacid and phenolic polyvinyl). In the second group there are several poly(N-vinylamides), in other words, polymers that can create hydrogen bridges with the protons of the ones before them.

"We have studied the relationship between polymers.In other words, to see whether polymers of one blend move away from each other, or whether, by contrast they become adhered to each other."And they studied that relationship first in solution, because the solvent can greatly influence that.Polymer chains will move away from each other if they have a greater tendency to attach themselves to the molecules of the solvent (dispersive tendency).By contrast, if the hydrogen bridges between the polymers are more stable than the relationship towards the solvent, the polymer chains will tend to stay together (associative behaviour).

The balance is a tricky one, because there are all kinds of interactions."That's the problem," says Ruiz."Polyacids, for example, not only interact with the solvent and other polymers, they also interact with themselves, but some polyamides, for example, prefer to join with other polymers.The same thing happens depending on the quality of the solvent.If the solvent is very good, the polymers tend to join with it."

Most of the solvents used in this work are alcohols, (methanol, ethanol, propanol, etc.) and the effect of their molecule size has been studied.In fact, the size has a lot to do with whether the solvent is good or bad:small alcohols are better solvents that large ones.

Ruiz and her colleagues repeated their solution-based research in the conditions of a surface.They wanted to know what kind of behaviour was displayed by these polymer blends on a surface.They used silicon surfaces covered with a co-polymer layer and added a number of functional groups to that layer."They end up as if they were strands of hair," says Ruiz.The polymer blends were placed on top and they formed a second layer.These kinds of systems can be manipulated, for example by changing the pH or the temperature, and the chemical and physical properties of the surface change.And in the end, the polymer blend will behave in one way or another according to that.

"We do basic chemistry, but you always have applications in mind.For example, drugs can be inserted between these layers and attached to the hairs of the surface.With the drugas the filling, it would end up like a kind of sandwich."In that case, by manipulating the pH or temperature, the polymer blend can be dismantled and the drug released at the desired moment.So, one potential application is a capsule that opens at the desired moment."But that's still a long way off.We have studied what happens in the solution, and then in a more complex medium, on a surface.When you have studied that, you'll be able to go one step further."But the capsule application is still a long way away.The aim of this thesis was to study the behaviour of certain polymers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elhuyar Fundazioa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Possibility of surfaces that can be manipulated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104083059.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2013, January 4). Possibility of surfaces that can be manipulated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104083059.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Possibility of surfaces that can be manipulated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104083059.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins