Micropatterning of a semicrystalline poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) solution was performed by a temperature controlled capillary micromolding where the rate of solvent evaporation was controlled by substrate temperature. In order to choose proper solvents for micropatterning, we have investigated the solubility of PVDF in various organic solvents and crystal structures of the PVDF bulk films cast from the solvents. The films prepared from the polar solvents such as dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) dominantly showed γ type crystals regardless of preparation temperature, while the films from tetrahydrofuran (THF) exhibit α type crystals and the ones from acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) show the characteristics of both α- and γ-PVDF. The quality of micropatterns and shapes of the PVDF crystals in the patterns significantly depend on solvent evaporation rates. Micropatterns of PVDF formed in DMF at 120 °C showed the best uniformity in shape. Crystals of the PVDF nucleated at the center regions of microchannels tended to be elongated with the b-axis of γ-PVDF crystals along the channels as the concentration of the solution decreased. In contrast, crystals nucleated at the corner regions of the channels had their b-axis oriented perpendicular to the channels. In line patterns with the width of 2 μm, the corner nucleated crystals were dominant and a resulting bamboo-like crystalline microstructure was observed in which the b-axis of γ-PVDF crystals, fast growth direction, is oriented normal to the microchannels. The crystal structures of the bulk films and the micropatterns were characterized by X-ray diffractometer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscope in Attenuated Total Reflection mode, Polarized Optical and Scanning Electron Microscope.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry