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Due to their unique properties, nano-composite polyhedral oligomeric silsequioxane (POSS) copolymer films are attractive for various applications. Here we show that their natural hydrophobic character can become hydrophilic when the films are modified by a thin oxide layer, up to 8 nm thick, prepared using atomic layer deposition. A proper choice of the deposition temperature and thickness of the oxide layer are required to achieve this goal. Unlike other polymeric systems, a marked transition to a hydrophilic state is observed with oxide layers deposited at increasing temperatures up to the glass transition temperature (∼110 °C) of the POSS copolymer film. The hydrophilic state is monitored through the water contact angle of the POSS film. Infrared absorbance spectra indicate that, in hydrophilic samples, the integral of peaks corresponding to surface Al–O (hydrophilic) is significantly larger than that of peaks linked to hydrophobic species.
Vasquez, K. A., Vincent-Johnson, A. J., Hughes, C. W., Augustine, B. H., Lee, K., Parsons, G. N., and Scarel, G., Wetting properties induced in nano-composite POSS-MA polymer films by atomic layer deposited oxides. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A, 30, 01A105 (2012), DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.3639134