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Thèse : Hydrocarbon Superhydrophobic Polymers from Electrochemical Polymerization : An Alternative to Fluorine ?

Mélanie Wolfs

à 10h30 dans amphithéâtre de Biologie

Controlling wettability of a solid surface is important in many practical applications. This property, resulting from the combination a low surface energy material with a surface structuration, is commonly expressed by the contact angle of a water droplet on the surface. Surfaces with a water contact angle (θwater) larger than 150° are usually called superhydrophobic surfaces. Such surfaces are very interesting because of their expected self-cleaning or anti-contamination properties, which could be applied in various applications such as in biomedical devices, paint or in aeronautics for example. Among all the techniques to prepare superhydrophobic surfaces, electrochemical polymerization is a fast and versatile technique. In current literature on this field, the general approach is the use of highly fluorinated tails to reach the water-repellency. However, as observed in nature, fluorine is not necessary and can present environmental impacts. In this work, we focused on the synthesis of original monomers with hydrocarbon chain as hydrophobic part in order to find alternative to fluorine chemistry to prepare electropolymerized superhydrophobic surfaces. We succeeded to reach high water repellency (θwater > 150°) with hydrocarbon conducting polymers and we determined the influence of chemical and physical parts onto the water contact angle. We also found similar dewetting properties than the fluorinated series meaning the hydrocarbon conducting polymers could be a real alternative to fluorine chemistry.