Characterizing the distribution of nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants in water-based pressure-sensitive adhesive films using atomic-force and confocal Raman microscopy

Guizhen H. Xu, Jinping Dong, Jiguang Zhang, Steven J. Severtson, Carl J. Houtman, Larry E. Gwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Surfactant distributions in model pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) films were investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and confocal Raman microscopy (CRM). The PSAs are water-based acrylics synthesized with «-butyl acrylate, vinyl acetate, and methacrylic acid and two commercially available surfactants, disodium (nonylphenoxypolyethoxy)ethyl sulfosuccinate (anionic) and nonylphenoxypoly(ethyleneoxy) ethanol (nonionic). The ratio of these surfactants was varied, while the total surfactant content was held constant. AFM images demonstrate the tendency of anionic surfactant to accumulate at the film surfaces and retard latex particle coalescence. CRM, which was introduced here as a means of providing quantitative depth profiling of surfactant concentration in latex adhesive films, confirms that the anionic surfactant tends to migrate to the film interfaces. This is consistent with its greater water solubility, which causes it to be transported by convective flow during the film coalescence process. The behavior of the nonionic surfactant is consistent with its greater compatibility with the polymer, showing little enrichment at film interfaces and little lateral variability in concentration measurements made via CRM. Surfactant distributions near film interfaces determined via CRM are well fit by an exponential decay model, in which concentrations drop from their highs at interfaces to plateau values in the film bulk. It was observed that decay constants are larger at the film-air interface compared with those obtained at the film-substrate side indicating differences in the mechanism involved. In general, it is shown here that CRM acts as a powerful compliment to AFM in characterizing the distribution of surfactant species in PSA film formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11907-11914
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume112
Issue number38
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2008

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