The final outcome of surfactants during latex film formation is a topic of ongoing concern and interest. In this study of an acrylic latex containing an anionic surfactant, two notable phenomena are observed. (1) A higher surfactant concentration is present at the air surface of the latex films, regardless of the film-forming temperature and time. In some cases, surfactant is not visible in an atomic force microscope (AFM) image as a separate phase, but compositional profiles obtained with Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) reveal an enhanced concentration of surfactant over a depth from the surface that is comparable to the latex particle diameter. (2) The surfactant features that are imaged with the AFM evolve from a thin uniform layer, to a 'finger-like' morphology, to small flat droplets, and finally to larger, hemispherical 'blobs'. We suggest that surfactant is first deposited from the air/water interface onto the latex surface during the drying process. During this progression in the morphology of the surfactant, the ratio of the surface area-to-volume decreases. We speculate that this phenomenon is driven by a reduction in surface energy.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Progress in Organic Coatings|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 1999|
|Event||Proceedings of the 1998 24th International Conference in Organic Coatings: Waterborne, High Solids and Powder Coatings - Vouliagmeni, Greece|
Duration: 6 Jul 1998 → 10 Jul 1998