Adhesion of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers: Sealing and Transfer of Microchamber Arrays

Polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films with array of responsive microchambers are promising candidates for site-specific release of chemicals in small and precisely defined quantities on demand. It requires effective sealing of the microchambers toward a support to prevent leakage of a cargo. In this paper, we study the pressure-induced adhesion of poly­(allylammonium)-poly­(4-styrenesulfonate) (PAH-PSS) multilayers assembled on different templates toward the poly­(4-styrenesulfonate)-poly­(diallyldimethylammonium) multilayer. The tensile bond strength increases from 0.4 to 3.5 MPa upon the increase of PAH-PSS bilayers from 10 to 40, if assembled on a silicon template. Weaker tensile bond strength of 0.35 MPa between the PAH-PSS multilayer and a poly­(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) template results in adhesive break at this interface and allows mechanical removal of the template. The successful PEM transfer is demonstrated for templates of various geometrical patterns, while the tensile break of a multilayer film happens for the others.