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Highly Transparent Polyethylcyanoacrylates from Approved Eco-Friendly Fragrance Materials Demonstrating Excellent Fog-Harvesting and Anti-Wear Properties

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Version 2 2018-09-26, 16:18
Version 1 2018-09-26, 14:48
journal contribution
posted on 2018-09-10, 00:00 authored by Muhammad Tamoor Masood, Muhammad Zahid, Luca Goldoni, Luca Ceseracciu, Athanassia Athanassiou, Ilker S. Bayer
Superglue monomers belong to a family of cyanoacrylates that are known for their very rapid polymerization upon contact with moist surfaces. Their biodegradation and low toxicity make them attractive as medical and veterinary adhesives. Although the fast-acting polymerization characteristics have been successfully utilized to design nanoscale polymeric particles that can carry drugs or other inorganic nanoparticles, it constitutes a significant drawback if one desires to produce other forms of functional biodegradable acrylics, such as coatings, sheets, or nanocomposites. This is because rapid polymerization in air creates highly porous and brittle structures. Here, we address this drawback by reporting a simple and inexpensive method of fabricating highly transparent (>92%) polyethylcyanoacrylate (PECA) coatings by dispersing the monomer in a fragrance-classified green liquid, cyclopentanone. The resulting transparent coatings were hydrophilic but with slippery wetting characteristics, suitable as efficient fog-harvesting templates. Furthermore, another fragrance liquid, benzyl alcohol, is introduced as a plasticizer and co-solvent to overcome its brittleness while retaining its transparency. The same plasticized monomer solutions, dispersing low concentrations of graphene (<0.5 wt %), were allowed to self-assemble on stainless steel surfaces, forming low-friction and anti-wear dry lubricants by decreasing the steel friction coefficient and wear rate by 6- and 10-fold, respectively.

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