Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Surface modification Related Abstracts

22 Polymer Advancement with Poly(High Internal Phase Emulsion) Poly(S/DVB) Modified via Layer-by-Layer for CO2 Adsorption

Authors: Saifon Chongthub


The purpose of this research is to synthesize adsorbent foam for CO2 adsorption. The polymer was prepared from poly High Internal Phase Emulsion (PolyHIPE) using styrene as monomer and divinylbenzene as comonomer. Its morphology was determined by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). To further increased CO2 adsorption of the prepared polyHIPE, the layer by layer (LbL) technique was applied, which alternated polyelectrolyte injection between layers of Poly(styrenesulfonate) (PSS) and Poly(diallyldimetyl-ammonium chloride)(PDADMAC) as primary layer, and layers of PSS and polyetyleneimine (PEI) as secondary layer.

Keywords: Surface modification, high internal phase emulsion, polyHIPE, layer by layer technique, CO2 adsorption

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21 Layer-By-Layer Deposition of Poly(Ethylene Imine) Nanolayers on Polypropylene Nonwoven Fabric: Electrostatic and Thermal Properties

Authors: Dawid Stawski, Silviya Halacheva, Dorota Zielińska


The surface properties of many materials can be readily and predictably modified by the controlled deposition of thin layers containing appropriate functional groups and this research area is now a subject of widespread interest. The layer-by-layer (lbl) method involves depositing oppositely charged layers of polyelectrolytes onto the substrate material which are stabilized due to strong electrostatic forces between adjacent layers. This type of modification affords products that combine the properties of the original material with the superficial parameters of the new external layers. Through an appropriate selection of the deposited layers, the surface properties can be precisely controlled and readily adjusted in order to meet the requirements of the intended application. In the presented paper a variety of anionic (poly(acrylic acid)) and cationic (linear poly(ethylene imine), polymers were successfully deposited onto the polypropylene nonwoven using the lbl technique. The chemical structure of the surface before and after modification was confirmed by reflectance FTIR spectroscopy, volumetric analysis and selective dyeing tests. As a direct result of this work, new materials with greatly improved properties have been produced. For example, following a modification process significant changes in the electrostatic activity of a range of novel nanocomposite materials were observed. The deposition of polyelectrolyte nanolayers was found to strongly accelerate the loss of electrostatically generated charges and to increase considerably the thermal resistance properties of the modified fabric (the difference in T50% is over 20°C). From our results, a clear relationship between the type of polyelectrolyte layer deposited onto the flat fabric surface and the properties of the modified fabric was identified.

Keywords: Surface modification, layer-by-layer technique, polypropylene nonwoven, surface properties

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20 Structural Properties of Surface Modified PVA: Zn97Pr3O Polymer Nanocomposite Free Standing Films

Authors: Karthikeyan Balasubramanian, Pandiyarajan Thangaraj, Mangalaraja Ramalinga Viswanathan, Héctor D. Mansilla, José Ruiz


Rare earth ions doped semiconductor nanostructures gained much attention due to their novel physical and chemical properties which lead to potential applications in laser technology as inexpensive luminescent materials. Doping of rare earth ions into ZnO semiconductor alter its electronic structure and emission properties. Surface modification (polymer covering) is one of the simplest techniques to modify the emission characteristics of host materials. The present work reports the synthesis and structural properties of PVA:Zn97Pr3O polymer nanocomposite free standing films. To prepare Pr3+ doped ZnO nanostructures and PVA:Zn97Pr3O polymer nanocomposite free standing films, the colloidal chemical and solution casting techniques were adopted, respectively. The formation of PVA:Zn97Pr3O films were confirmed through X-ray diffraction (XRD), absorption and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses. XRD measurements confirm the prepared materials are crystalline having hexagonal wurtzite structure. Polymer composite film exhibits the diffraction peaks of both PVA and ZnO structures. TEM images reveal the pure and Pr3+ doped ZnO nanostructures exhibit sheet like morphology. Optical absorption spectra show free excitonic absorption band of ZnO at 370 nm and, the PVA:Zn97Pr3O polymer film shows absorption bands at ~282 and 368 nm and these arise due to the presence of carbonyl containing structures connected to the PVA polymeric chains, mainly at the ends and free excitonic absorption of ZnO nanostructures, respectively. Transmission spectrum of as prepared film shows 57 to 69% of transparency in the visible and near IR region. FTIR spectral studies confirm the presence of A1 (TO) and E1 (TO) modes of Zn-O bond vibration and the formation of polymer composite materials.

Keywords: Surface modification, Polymer composites, Structural characterization, rare earth doped ZnO

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19 Nitrate Removal from Drinking Water Using Modified Natural Nanozeolite

Authors: S. Sabbaghi, M. M. Zerafat, T. Meftah


Nitrate compounds are considered as groundwater contaminants, the concentration of which has been growing in these resources during recent years. As a result, it seems necessary to use effective methods to remove nitrate from water and wastewater. Adsorption process is generally considered more economical in water treatment. Natural clinoptilolite zeolite is one of the best absorbents because of its high capacity and low cost.In this research, we are going to modify zeolite nanoparticles as a chemical modification. Zeolite nanoparticles have been modified with a kind of organosilane, like 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane. The advantage of this modification method, in comparison with physical modification, is the good stability in various environmental conditions. In this research, absorbent properties have been analyzed by PSA, FTIR and CHN elemental analysis. Also, nitrate adsorption by modified nanoparticles was examined by UV-Vis spectroscopy. There would be 〖NH〗_2 groups on the zeolite surface as a result of organosilane modification. In order to adsorption of nitrate, we need to convert 〖NH〗_2 groups to〖NH〗_4^+, that it is possible in acidic condition. As a result, the best nitrate removal is possible in the lowest concentration and pH. We obtained 80.12% nitrate removal in pH=3 and 50 mg⁄l nitrate concentration and 4 g⁄l absorbent optimum concentration.

Keywords: Surface modification, Zeolite, nitrate removal, organosilane

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18 Nanostructural Analysis of the Polylactic Acid (PLA) Fibers Functionalized by RF Plasma Treatment

Authors: J. H. O. Nascimento, F. R. Oliveira, K. K. O. S. Silva, J. Neves, V. Teixeira, J. Carneiro


These the aliphatic polyesters such as Polylactic Acid (PLA) in the form of fibers, nanofibers or plastic films, generally possess chemically inert surfaces, free porosity, and surface free energy (ΔG) lesser than 32 mN/m. It is therefore considered a low surface energy material, consequently has a low work of adhesion. For this reason, the products manufactured using these polymers are often subjected to surface treatments in order to change its physic-chemical surface, improving their wettability and the Work of Adhesion (WA). Plasma Radio Frequency low pressure (RF) treatment was performed in order to improve the Work of Adhesion (WA) on PLA fibers. Different parameters, such as, power, ratio of working gas (Argon/Oxygen) and treatment time were used to optimize the plasma conditions to modify the PLA surface properties. With plasma treatment, a significant increase in the work of adhesion on PLA fiber surface was observed. The analysis performed by XPS showed an increase in polar functional groups and the SEM and AFM image revealed a considerable increase in roughness.

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Surface modification, RF plasma, PLA fabric, atomic force macroscopic

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17 Thermal Characterisation of Multi-Coated Lightweight Brake Rotors for Passenger Cars

Authors: Ankit Khurana


The sufficient heat storage capacity or ability to dissipate heat is the most decisive parameter to have an effective and efficient functioning of Friction-based Brake Disc systems. The primary aim of the research was to analyse the effect of multiple coatings on lightweight disk rotors surface which not only alleviates the mass of vehicle & also, augments heat transfer. This research is projected to aid the automobile fraternity with an enunciated view over the thermal aspects in a braking system. The results of the project indicate that with the advent of modern coating technologies a brake system’s thermal curtailments can be removed and together with forced convection, heat transfer processes can see a drastic improvement leading to increased lifetime of the brake rotor. Other advantages of modifying the surface of a lightweight rotor substrate will be to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, decrease the risk of thermal brake failure (brake fade and fluid vaporization), longer component life, as well as lower noise and vibration characteristics. A mathematical model was constructed in MATLAB which encompassing the various thermal characteristics of the proposed coatings and substrate materials required to approximate the heat flux values in a free and forced convection environment; resembling to a real-time braking phenomenon which could easily be modelled into a full cum scaled version of the alloy brake rotor part in ABAQUS. The finite element of a brake rotor was modelled in a constrained environment such that the nodal temperature between the contact surfaces of the coatings and substrate (Wrought Aluminum alloy) resemble an amalgamated solid brake rotor element. The initial results obtained were for a Plasma Electrolytic Oxidized (PEO) substrate wherein the Aluminum alloy gets a hard ceramic oxide layer grown on its transitional phase. The rotor was modelled and then evaluated in real-time for a constant ‘g’ braking event (based upon the mathematical heat flux input and convective surroundings), which reflected the necessity to deposit a conducting coat (sacrificial) above the PEO layer in order to inhibit thermal degradation of the barrier coating prematurely. Taguchi study was then used to bring out certain critical factors which may influence the maximum operating temperature of a multi-coated brake disc by simulating brake tests: a) an Alpine descent lasting 50 seconds; b) an Autobahn stop lasting 3.53 seconds; c) a Six–high speed repeated stop in accordance to FMVSS 135 lasting 46.25 seconds. Thermal Barrier coating thickness and Vane heat transfer coefficient were the two most influential factors and owing to their design and manufacturing constraints a final optimized model was obtained which survived the 6-high speed stop test as per the FMVSS -135 specifications. The simulation data highlighted the merits for preferring Wrought Aluminum alloy 7068 over Grey Cast Iron and Aluminum Metal Matrix Composite in coherence with the multiple coating depositions.

Keywords: Surface modification, Aluminum, PEO, lightweight brakes, simulated braking

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16 Surface Characteristics of Bacillus megaterium and Its Adsorption Behavior onto Dolomite

Authors: Mohsen Farahat, Tsuyoshi Hirajima


Surface characteristics of Bacillus megaterium strain were investigated; zeta potential, FTIR and contact angle were measured. Surface energy components including Lifshitz-van der Waals, Hamaker constant, and acid/base components (Lewis acid/Lewis base) were calculated from the contact angle data. The results showed that the microbial cells were negatively charged over all pH regions with high values at alkaline region. A hydrophilic nature for the strain was confirmed by contact angle and free energy of adhesion between microbial cells. Adsorption affinity of the strain toward dolomite was studied at different pH values. The results showed that the cells had a high affinity to dolomite at acid pH comparing to neutral and alkaline pH. Extended DLVO theory was applied to calculate interaction energy between B. megaterium cells and dolomite particles. The adsorption results were in agreement with the results of Extended DLVO approach. Surface changes occurred on dolomite surface after the bio-treatment were monitored; contact angle decreased from 69° to 38° and the mineral’s floatability decreased from 95% to 25% after the treatment.

Keywords: Surface modification, Flotation, Bacillus megaterium, dolomite, adhesion energy

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15 Using 3-Glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane Functionalized Silica Nanoparticles to Improve Flexural Properties of E-Glass/Epoxy Grid-Stiffened Composite Panels

Authors: Reza Eslami-Farsani, Hamed Khosravi, Saba Fayazzadeh


Lightweight and efficient structures have the aim to enhance the efficiency of the components in various industries. Toward this end, composites are one of the most widely used materials because of durability, high strength and modulus, and low weight. One type of the advanced composites is grid-stiffened composite (GSC) structures which have been extensively considered in aerospace, automotive, and aircraft industries. They are one of the top candidates for replacing some of the traditional components which are used here. Although there are a good number of published surveys on the design aspects and fabrication of GSC structures, little systematic work has been reported on their material modification to improve their properties, to our knowledge. Matrix modification using nanoparticles is an effective method to enhance the flexural properties of the fibrous composites. In the present study, a silane coupling agent (3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane/3-GPTS) was introduced onto the silica (SiO2) nanoparticle surface and its effects on the three-point flexural response of isogrid E-glass/epoxy composites were assessed. Based on the fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) spectra, it was inferred that the 3-GPTS coupling agent was successfully grafted onto the surface of SiO2 nanoparticles after modification. Flexural test revealed an improvement of 16%, 14%, and 36% in stiffness, maximum load and energy absorption of the isogrid specimen filled with 3 wt.% 3-GPTS/SiO2 compared to the neat one. It would be worth mentioning that in these structures, a considerable energy absorption was observed after the primary failure related to the load peak. Also, 3-GPTMS functionalization had a positive effect on the flexural behavior of the multiscale isogrid composites. In conclusion, this study suggests that the addition of modified silica nanoparticles is a promising method to improve the flexural properties of the grid-stiffened fibrous composite structures.

Keywords: Surface modification, Energy Absorption, flexural properties, isogrid-stiffened composite panels, silica nanoparticles

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14 Using 3-Glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane Functionalized SiO2 Nanoparticles to Improve Flexural Properties of Glass Fibers/Epoxy Grid-Stiffened Composite Panels

Authors: Reza Eslami-Farsani, Hamed Khosravi, Saba Fayazzadeh


Lightweight and efficient structures have the aim to enhance the efficiency of the components in various industries. Toward this end, composites are one of the most widely used materials because of durability, high strength and modulus, and low weight. One type of the advanced composites is grid-stiffened composite (GSC) structures, which have been extensively considered in aerospace, automotive, and aircraft industries. They are one of the top candidates for replacing some of the traditional components, which are used here. Although there are a good number of published surveys on the design aspects and fabrication of GSC structures, little systematic work has been reported on their material modification to improve their properties, to our knowledge. Matrix modification using nanoparticles is an effective method to enhance the flexural properties of the fibrous composites. In the present study, a silane-coupling agent (3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane/3-GPTS) was introduced onto the silica (SiO2) nanoparticle surface and its effects on the three-point flexural response of isogrid E-glass/epoxy composites were assessed. Based on the fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) spectra, it was inferred that the 3-GPTS coupling agent was successfully grafted onto the surface of SiO2 nanoparticles after modification. Flexural test revealed an improvement of 16%, 14%, and 36% in stiffness, maximum load and energy absorption of the isogrid specimen filled with 3 wt.% 3-GPTS/SiO2 compared to the neat one. It would be worth mentioning that in these structures, considerable energy absorption was observed after the primary failure related to the load peak. In addition, 3-GPTMS functionalization had a positive effect on the flexural behavior of the multiscale isogrid composites. In conclusion, this study suggests that the addition of modified silica nanoparticles is a promising method to improve the flexural properties of the grid-stiffened fibrous composite structures.

Keywords: Surface modification, flexural properties, isogrid-stiffened composite panels, silica nanoparticles

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13 Plasma Treatment in Conjunction with EGM-2 Medium Can Enhance Endothelial and Osteogenic Marker Expressions of Bone Marrow MSCs

Authors: Chih-Hsin Lin, Shyh-Yuan Lee, Yuan-Min Lin


For many tissue engineering applications, an important goal is to create functional tissues in-vitro, and such tissues to be viable, they have to be vascularized. Endothelial cells (EC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are promising candidates for vascularization. However, both of them have limited expansion capacity and autologous cells currently do not exist for either ECs or EPCs. Therefore, we use bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as a source material for ECs. Growth supplements are commonly used to induce MSC differentiation, and further improvements in differentiation conditions can be made by modifying the cell's growth environment. An example is pre-treatment of the growth dish with gas plasma, in order to modify the surface functional groups of the material that the cells are seeded on. In this work, we compare the effects of different gas plasmas on the growth and differentiation of MSCs. We treat the dish with different plasmas (CO2, N2, and O2) and then induce MSC differentiation with endothelial growth medium-2 (EGM-2). We find that EGM-2 by itself upregulates EC marker CD31 mRNA expression, but not VEGFR2, CD34, or vWF. However, these additional EC marker expressions were increased for cells seeded on plasma treated substrates. Specifically, for EC markers, we found that N2 plasma treatment upregulated CD31 and VEGFR-2 mRNA expressions; CO2 plasma treatment upregulated CD34 and vWF mRNA expressions. The osteogenic markers ALP and osteopontin mRNA expressions were markedly enhanced on all plasma-treated dishes. We also found that plasma treatment in conjunction with EGM-2 growth medium can enhance MSCs differentiation into endothelial-like cells and osteogenic-like cells. Our work shows that the effect of the growth medium (EGM-2) on MSCs differentiation is influenced by the plasma modified surface chemistry of the substrate. In conclusion, plasma surface modification can enhance EGM-2 effectiveness and induced both endothelial and osteogenic differentiation. Our findings provide a method to enhance EGM-2 based cell differentiation, with consequences for tissue engineering and stem cell biology applications.

Keywords: Surface modification, Plasma Treatment, osteogenesis, endothelial differentiation, EGM-2

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12 Compressive Response of Unidirectional Basalt Fiber/Epoxy/MWCNTs Composites

Authors: Reza Eslami-Farsani, Hamed Khosravi


The aim of this work is to study the influence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) addition at various contents with respect to the matrix (0-0.5 wt.% at a step of 0.1 wt.%) on the compressive response of unidirectional basalt fiber (UD-BF)/epoxy composites. Toward this end, MWCNTs were firstly functionalized with 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (3-GPTMS) to improve their dispersion state and interfacial compatibility with the epoxy. Subsequently, UD-BF/epoxy and multiscale 3-GPTMS-MWCNTs/UD-BF/epoxy composites were prepared. The mechanical properties of the composites were determined by quasi-static compression test. The compressive strength of the composites was obtained through performing the compression test on the off-axis specimens and extracting their longitudinal compressive strength. Results demonstrated that the highest value in compressive strength was attained at 0.4 wt.% MWCNTs with 41% increase, compared to the BF/epoxy composite. Potential mechanisms behind these were implied.

Keywords: Surface modification, compressive properties, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, multiscale polymeric composites, unidirectional basalt fibers

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11 Development of Anti-Fouling Surface Features Bioinspired by the Patterned Micro-Textures of the Scophthalmus rhombus (Brill)

Authors: Ivan Maguire, Alan Barrett, Alex Forte, Sandra Kwiatkowska, Rohit Mishra, Jens Ducrèe, Fiona Regan


Biofouling is defined as the gradual accumulation of Biomimetics refers to the use and imitation of principles copied from nature. Biomimetics has found interest across many commercial disciplines. Among many biological objects and their functions, aquatic animals deserve a special attention due to their antimicrobial capabilities resulting from chemical composition, surface topography or other behavioural defences, which can be used as an inspiration for antifouling technology. Marine biofouling has detrimental effects on seagoing vessels, both commercial and leisure, as well as on oceanographic sensors, offshore drilling rigs, and aquaculture installations. Sensor optics, membranes, housings and platforms can become fouled leading to problems with sensor performance and data integrity. While many anti-fouling solutions are currently being investigated as a cost-cutting measure, biofouling settlement may also be prevented by creating a surface that does not satisfy the settlement conditions. Brill (Scophthalmus rhombus) is a small flatfish occurring in marine waters of Mediterranean as well as Norway and Iceland. It inhabits sandy and muddy coastal waters from 5 to 80 meters. Its skin colour changes depending on environment, but generally is brownish with light and dark freckles, with creamy underside. Brill is oval in shape and its flesh is white. The aim of this study is to translate the unique micro-topography of the brill scale, to design marine inspired biomimetic surface coating and test it against a typical fouling organism. Following extensive study of scale topography of the brill fish (Scophthalmus rhombus) and the settlement behaviour of the diatom species Psammodictyon sp. via SEM, two state-of-the-art antifouling surface solutions were designed and investigated; A brill fish scale bioinspired surface pattern platform (BFD), and generic and uniformly-arrayed, circular micropillar platform (MPD), with offsets based on diatom species settlement behaviour. The BFD approach consists of different ~5 μm by ~90 μm Brill-replica patterns, grown to a 5 μm height, in a linear array pattern. The MPD approach utilises hexagonal-packed cylindrical pillars 10.6 μm in diameter, grown to a height of 5 μm, with vertical offset of 15 μm and horizontal offset of 26.6 μm. Photolithography was employed for microstructure growth, with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chip-based used as a testbed for diatom adhesion on both platforms. Settlement and adhesion tests were performed using this PDMS microfluidic chip through subjugation to centrifugal force via an in-house developed ‘spin-stand’ which features a motor, in combination with a high-resolution camera, for real-time observing diatom release from PDMS material. Diatom adhesion strength can therefore be determined based on the centrifugal force generated at varying rotational speeds. It is hoped that both the replica and bio-inspired solutions will give comparable anti-fouling results to these synthetic surfaces, whilst also assisting in determining whether anti-fouling solutions should predominantly be investigating either fully bioreplica-based, or a bioinspired, synthetically-based design.

Keywords: Surface modification, anti-fouling applications, bio-inspired microstructures, centrifugal microfluidics

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10 Investigation of the Use of Surface-Modified Waste Orange Pulp for the Adsorption of Remazol Black B

Authors: Onur Karaman, Ceren Karaman


The adsorption of Remazol Black B (RBB), an anionic dye, onto dried orange pulp (DOP) adsorbent prepared by only drying and by treating with cetyltrimetylammonium bromide (CTAB), a cationic surfactant, surface-modified orange pulp (SMOP) was studied in a stirred batch experiments system at 25°C. The adsorption of RBB on each adsorbent as a function of surfactant dosage, initial pH of the solution and initial dye concentration was investigated. The optimum amount of CTAB was found to be 25g/l. For RBB adsorption studies, while working pH value for the DOP adsorbent system was determined as 2.0, it was observed that this value shifted to 8.0 when the 25 g/l CTAB treated-orange pulp (SMOP) adsorbent was used. It was obtained that the adsorption rate and capacity increased to a certain value, and the adsorption efficiency decreased with increasing initial RBB concentration for both DOP and SMOP adsorbents at pH 2.0 and pH 8.0. While the highest adsorption capacity for DOP was determined as 62.4 mg/g at pH 2.0, and as 325.0 mg/g for SMOP at pH 8.0. As a result, it can be said that permanent cationic coating of the adsorbent surface by CTAB surfactant shifted the working pH from 2.0 to 8.0 and it increased the dye adsorption rate and capacity of orange pulp much more significantly at pH 8.0. The equilibrium RBB adsorption data on each adsorbent were best described by the Langmuir isotherm model. The adsorption kinetics of RBB on each adsorbent followed a pseudo-second-order model. Moreover, the intraparticle diffusion model was used to describe the kinetic data. It was found that diffusion is not the only rate controlling step. The adsorbent was characterized by the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, Fourier-transform-infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and scanning-electron-microscopy (SEM). The mechanism for the adsorption of RBB on the SMOP may include hydrophobic interaction, van der Waals interaction, stacking and electrostatic interaction.

Keywords: Adsorption, Surface modification, Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide (CTAB), orange pulp, Remazol Black B (RBB)

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9 Nanofiltration Membranes with Deposyted Polyelectrolytes: Caracterisation and Antifouling Potential

Authors: Viktor Kochkodan


The main problem arising upon water treatment and desalination using pressure driven membrane processes such as microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis is membrane fouling that seriously hampers the application of the membrane technologies. One of the main approaches to mitigate membrane fouling is to minimize adhesion interactions between a foulant and a membrane and the surface coating of the membranes with polyelectrolytes seems to be a simple and flexible technique to improve the membrane fouling resistance. In this study composite polyamide membranes NF-90, NF-270, and BW-30 were modified using electrostatic deposition of polyelectrolyte multilayers made from various polycationic and polyanionic polymers of different molecular weights. Different anionic polyelectrolytes such as: poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate), poly(vinyl sulfonic acid, sodium salt), poly(4-styrene sulfonic acid-co-maleic acid) sodium salt, poly(acrylic acid) sodium salt (PA) and cationic polyelectrolytes such as poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride), poly(ethylenimine) and poly(hexamethylene biguanide were used for membrane modification. An effect of deposition time and a number of polyelectrolyte layers on the membrane modification has been evaluated. It was found that degree of membrane modification depends on chemical nature and molecular weight of polyelectrolytes used. The surface morphology of the prepared composite membranes was studied using atomic force microscopy. It was shown that the surface membrane roughness decreases significantly as a number of the polyelectrolyte layers on the membrane surface increases. This smoothening of the membrane surface might contribute to the reduction of membrane fouling as lower roughness most often associated with a decrease in surface fouling. Zeta potentials and water contact angles on the membrane surface before and after modification have also been evaluated to provide addition information regarding membrane fouling issues. It was shown that the surface charge of the membranes modified with polyelectrolytes could be switched between positive and negative after coating with a cationic or an anionic polyelectrolyte. On the other hand, the water contact angle was strongly affected when the outermost polyelectrolyte layer was changed. Finally, a distinct difference in the performance of the noncoated membranes and the polyelectrolyte modified membranes was found during treatment of seawater in the non-continuous regime. A possible mechanism of the higher fouling resistance of the modified membranes has been discussed.

Keywords: Surface modification, Contact angle, membrane fouling, polyelectrolytes

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8 An Investigation of Surface Texturing by Ultrasonic Impingement of Micro-Particles

Authors: Nagalingam Arun Prasanth, Ahmed Syed Adnan, S. H. Yeo


Surface topography plays a significant role in the functional performance of engineered parts. It is important to have a control on the surface geometry and understanding on the surface details to get the desired performance. Hence, in the current research contribution, a non-contact micro-texturing technique has been explored and developed. The technique involves ultrasonic excitation of a tool as a prime source of surface texturing for aluminum alloy workpieces. The specimen surface is polished first and is then immersed in a liquid bath containing 10% weight concentration of Ti6Al4V grade 5 spherical powders. A submerged slurry jet is used to recirculate the spherical powders under the ultrasonic horn which is excited at an ultrasonic frequency and amplitude of 40 kHz and 70 µm respectively. The distance between the horn and workpiece surface was remained fixed at 200 µm using a precision control stage. Texturing effects were investigated for different process timings of 1, 3 and 5 s. Thereafter, the specimens were cleaned in an ultrasonic bath for 5 mins to remove loose debris on the surface. The developed surfaces are characterized by optical and contact surface profiler. The optical microscopic images show a texture of circular spots on the workpiece surface indented by titanium spherical balls. Waviness patterns obtained from contact surface profiler supports the texturing effect produced from the proposed technique. Furthermore, water droplet tests were performed to show the efficacy of the proposed technique to develop hydrophilic surfaces and to quantify the texturing effect produced.

Keywords: Ultrasonic, Surface modification, Topography, Surface Texturing

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7 Surface Functionalized Biodegradable Polymersome for Targeted Drug Delivery

Authors: Susmita Roy, Madhavan Nallani


In recent years' polymersomes, self-assembled polymeric vesicles emerge from block copolymers, have been widely investigated due to their enhance stability and unique advantageous properties compared to their phospholipid counterpart, liposomes, dendrimers, and micelles. It provides a distinctive platform for advanced therapeutics and the creation of complex (bio) catalytically active systems for research in Nanomedicine and synthetic biology. Inspired by nature, where compartmentalization of biological components is all ubiquitous, we are interested in developing a platform technology of self-assembled multifunctional compartments with applications in areas from targeted drug/gene delivery, biosensing, pharmaceutical to cosmetics. Polymersome surfaces can be a proper choice of derivatization with a controlled amount of functional groups. To achieve site-specific targeting of polymersomes, biological recognition motives can be attached to the polymersomes surface by standard bioconjugation techniques, (like esterification, amidation, thiol-maleimide coupling, click-chemistry routes or other coupling methods). Herein, we are developing easy going, one-step bioconjugation strategies for site-specific surface functionalized biodegradable polymeric and/or polymer-lipid hybrid vesicles for targeted drug delivery. Biodegradable polymer, polycaprolactone-b-polyethylene glycol (PCL-PEG), polylactic acid-b-polyethylene glycol (PLA-PEG) and phospholipid, 1-palmitoyl-2- oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) has been widely used for numerous vesicle formulations. Some of these drug-loaded formulations are being tested on mice for controlled release. These surface functionalized polymersomes are also appropriate for membrane protein reconstitution/insertion, antibodies conjugation and various bioconjugation with diverse targeted molecules for controlled drug delivery.

Keywords: drug delivery, Surface modification, membrane protein, polymersome

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6 Optimization of Surface Coating on Magnetic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications

Authors: Xiao-Li Liu, Ling-Yun Zhao, Xing-Jie Liang, Hai-Ming Fan


Owing to their unique properties, magnetic nanoparticles have been used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents for biomedical applications. Highly monodispersed magnetic nanoparticles with controlled particle size and surface coating have been successfully synthesized as a model system to investigate the effect of surface coating on the T2 relaxivity and specific absorption rate (SAR) under an alternating magnetic field, respectively. Amongst, by using mPEG-g-PEI to solubilize oleic-acid capped 6 nm magnetic nanoparticles, the T2 relaxivity could be significantly increased by up to 4-fold as compared to PEG coated nanoparticles. Moreover, it largely enhances the cell uptake with a T2 relaxivity of 92.6 mM-1s-1 for in vitro cell MRI. As for hyperthermia agent, SAR value increase with the decreased thickness of PEG surface coating. By elaborate optimization of surface coating and particle size, a significant increase of SAR (up to 74%) could be achieved with a minimal variation on the saturation magnetization (<5%). The 19 nm magnetic nanoparticles with 2000 Da PEG exhibited the highest SAR of 930 W•g-1 among the samples, which can be maintained in various simulated physiological conditions. This systematic work provides a general strategy for the optimization of surface coating of magnetic core for high performance MRI contrast agent and hyperthermia agent.

Keywords: Surface modification, Magnetic Hyperthermia, magnetic nanoparticles, Magnetic resonance imaging

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5 Methyl Red Adsorption and Photodegradation on TiO₂ Modified Mesoporous Carbon Photocatalyst

Authors: Seyyed Ershad Moradi, Javad Khodaveisi, Atefeh Nasrollahpour


In this study, the highly ordered mesoporous carbon molecular sieve with high surface area and pore volume have been synthesized and modified by TiO₂ doping. The titanium oxide modified mesoporous carbon (Ti-OMC) was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), BET surface area, DRS also XRD analysis (low and wide angle). Degradation experiments were conducted in batch mode with the variables such as amount of contact time, initial solution concentration, and solution pH. The optimal conditions for the degradation of methyl red (MR) were 100 mg/L dye concentration, pH of 7, and 0.12 mg/L of TiO₂ modified mesoporous carbon photocatalyst dosage.

Keywords: Surface modification, Photodegradation, titanium oxide, mesoporous carbon

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4 Improvement on the Specific Activities of Immobilized Enzymes by Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Surface Modification

Authors: Shaohua Li, Aihua Zhang, Kelly Zatopek, Saba Parvez, Andrew F. Gardner, Ivan R. Corrêa Jr., Christopher J. Noren, Ming-Qun Xu


Covalent immobilization of enzymes on solid supports is an alternative approach to biocatalysis with the added benefits of simple enzyme removal, improved stability, and adaptability to automation and high-throughput applications. Nevertheless, immobilized enzymes generally suffer from reduced activities compared to their soluble counterparts. One major factor leading to activity loss is the intrinsic hydrophobic property of the supporting material surface, which could result in the conformational change/confinement of enzymes. We report a strategy of utilizing flexible poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) moieties as to improve the surface hydrophilicity of solid supports used for enzyme immobilization. DNA modifying enzymes were covalently conjugated to PEO-coated magnetic-beads. Kinetics studies proved that the activities of the covalently-immobilized DNA modifying enzymes were greatly enhanced by the PEO modification on the bead surface.

Keywords: Biocatalysis, Surface modification, immobilized enzymes, poly(ethylene oxide)

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3 Poly(S/DVB)HIPE Filled with Cellulose from Water Hyacinth

Authors: Manit Nithitanakul, Metinee Kawsomboon, Thanchanok Tulaphol, Jitima Preechawong


PolyHIPE is a porous polymeric material from polymerization of high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) which contains 74% of internal phase (disperse phase) and 26 % of external phase (continues phase). Typically, polyHIPE was prepared from styrene (S) and divinylbenzene (DVB) and they were used in various kind of applications such as catalyst support, gas adsorption, separation membranes, and tissue engineering scaffolds due to high specific surface areas, high porousity, ability to adsorb large quantities of liquid. In this research, cellulose from water hyacinth (Eichornia Crassipes), an aquatic plant that grows and spread rapidly in rivers and waterways in Thailand was added into polyHIPE to increase mechanical property of polyHIPE. Addition of unmodified and modified cellulose to poly(S/DVB)HIPE resulting in a decrease in the surface area and thermal stability of the resulting materials. Mechanical properties of the resulting polyHIPEs filled with both unmodified and modified cellulose exhibited higher compressive strength and Young’s modulus by 146.3% and 162.5% respectively, compared to unfilled polyHIPEs. The water adsorption capacity of filled polyHIPE was also improved.

Keywords: Surface modification, Cellulose, polyHIPE, water hyacinth, porous polymer

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2 A Study of Electrowetting-Assisted Mold Filling in Nanoimprint Lithography

Authors: Wei-Hsuan Hsu, Yi-Xuan Huang


Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) possesses the advantages of sub-10-nm feature and low cost. NIL patterns the resist with physical deformation using a mold, which can easily reproduce the required nano-scale pattern. However, the variation of process parameters and environmental conditions seriously affect reproduction quality. How to ensure the quality of imprinted pattern is essential for industry. In this study, the authors used the electrowetting technology to assist mold filling in the NIL process. A special mold structure was designed to cause electrowetting. During the imprinting process, when a voltage was applied between the mold and substrate, the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of the surface of the mold can be converted. Both simulation and experiment confirmed that the electrowetting technology can assist mold filling and avoid incomplete filling rate. The proposed method can also reduce the crack formation during the de-molding process. Therefore, electrowetting technology can improve the process quality of NIL.

Keywords: Surface modification, electrowetting, mold filling, nano-imprint

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1 Controlled Nano Texturing in Silicon Wafer for Excellent Optical and Photovoltaic Properties

Authors: Deb Kumar Shah, M. Shaheer Akhtar, Ha Ryeon Lee, O-Bong Yang, Chong Yeal Kim


The crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells are highly renowned photovoltaic technology and well-established as the commercial solar technology. Most of the solar panels are globally installed with the crystalline Si solar modules. At the present scenario, the major photovoltaic (PV) market is shared by c-Si solar cells, but the cost of c-Si panels are still very high as compared with the other PV technology. In order to reduce the cost of Si solar panels, few necessary steps such as low-cost Si manufacturing, cheap antireflection coating materials, inexpensive solar panel manufacturing are to be considered. It is known that the antireflection (AR) layer in c-Si solar cell is an important component to reduce Fresnel reflection for improving the overall conversion efficiency. Generally, Si wafer exhibits the 30% reflection because it normally poses the two major intrinsic drawbacks such as; the spectral mismatch loss and the high Fresnel reflection loss due to the high contrast of refractive indices between air and silicon wafer. In recent years, researchers and scientists are highly devoted to a lot of researches in the field of searching effective and low-cost AR materials. Silicon nitride (SiNx) is well-known AR materials in commercial c-Si solar cells due to its good deposition and interaction with passivated Si surfaces. However, the deposition of SiNx AR is usually performed by expensive plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process which could have several demerits like difficult handling and damaging the Si substrate by plasma when secondary electrons collide with the wafer surface for AR coating. It is very important to explore new, low cost and effective AR deposition process to cut the manufacturing cost of c-Si solar cells. One can also be realized that a nano-texturing process like the growth of nanowires, nanorods, nanopyramids, nanopillars, etc. on Si wafer can provide a low reflection on the surface of Si wafer based solar cells. The above nanostructures might be enhanced the antireflection property which provides the larger surface area and effective light trapping. In this work, we report on the development of crystalline Si solar cells without using the AR layer. The Silicon wafer was modified by growing nanowires like Si nanostructures using the wet controlled etching method and directly used for the fabrication of Si solar cell without AR. The nanostructures over Si wafer were optimized in terms of sizes, lengths, and densities by changing the etching conditions. Well-defined and aligned wires like structures were achieved when the etching time is 20 to 30 min. The prepared Si nanostructured displayed the minimum reflectance ~1.64% at 850 nm with the average reflectance of ~2.25% in the wavelength range from 400-1000 nm. The nanostructured Si wafer based solar cells achieved the comparable power conversion efficiency in comparison with c-Si solar cells with SiNx AR layer. From this study, it is confirmed that the reported method (controlled wet etching) is an easy, facile method for preparation of nanostructured like wires on Si wafer with low reflectance in the whole visible region, which has greater prospects in developing c-Si solar cells without AR layer at low cost.

Keywords: Surface modification, Conversion Efficiency, chemical etching, silicon solar cells, silicon nanostructures

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