The wetting properties of poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) melt blown fibers were tuned by alkaline hydrolysis and subsequent fluorination. Fiber mats were exposed to a NaOH methanol solution for controlled periods of time at several temperatures, resulting in surface hydrolysis (h-PBT). Subsequent simple solution chemistry was applied to the h-PBT fibers, leading to fluorination of the surface (f-PBT) and the transformation of the wetting properties of the material. Electron microscopy revealed that hydrolysis leads to a textured surface that is retained in the fluorinated product. Sessile drop wetting measurements demonstrated superhydrophilicity for the h-PBT fiber mats and sticky superhydrophobicity with the f-PBT fiber mat.
- melt blowing
- sticky superhydrophobicity