Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

First Advisor

C. A. Guymon

First Committee Member

Alec Scranton

Second Committee Member

Julie Jessop

Third Committee Member

Gary Aurand

Fourth Committee Member

Ned Bowden


Independent control of the surface and bulk properties is advantageous for many applications such as adhesives, release coatings, and antimicrobial films. Traditional methods for achieving independent control typically require multiple processing steps such as wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry coating methods. Independent control over the surface properties can achieved in a single step utilizing the temporal and spatial control inherent to photopolymerization. Specifically, a co-photopolymerization of monomers with different reactivities in the presence of a light gradient is capable of producing a polymer film with a surface chemistry that differs from the bulk chemistry. The light gradient, produced via the concentration of photoinitiator in the formulation, results in a reaction gradient through the film with the higher rates of reaction occurring in the high light intensity regions of the film. The preferentially reacting monomer adds at a greater rate in the high light intensity regions resulting in non-uniform consumption yielding a concentration gradient. Consequently, diffusion of the preferentially reacting monomer from the bulk to the surface of the film and a counter-diffusion of the other monomer from the surface to the bulk of the film occurs from the non-uniform monomer consumption thus producing a film with a concentration gradient through the depth of the film with the preferentially reacting monomer enriching the high light intensity regions. A variety of kinetic differences capable of producing a stratified film will be presented including inherent monomer reactivity, number of functional groups per monomer, oxygen inhibition, thiol-ene chemistry, and Norrish type two initiation. Additionally, parameters that control the degree of stratification, such as methods of varying polymerization rate and the light gradient, will be examined. Changes in surface properties (such as contact angle, surface hardness, adhesion) and bulk properties (such as mechanical properties measured by dynamic mechanical analysis and polymer swelling) are studied as a function of stratification. Finally, a mathematical model which describes and predicts the production of stratified films via photopolymerization is presented. Photopolymerization allows for a facile, single step method of generating stratified films with controllable surface chemistries.


Attenuated Total Reflectance - Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Compositional Gradient, Photo-enforced Stratification, Photopolymerization, Polymer, Polymer Reaction Engineering


xiii, 147 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 136-147).


Copyright 2014 Clinton John Cook