Nanopatterned protein-polysaccharide thin films by humidity regulated phase separation
Banta, Russell A.
Collins, Timothy W.
Young, Paul W.
Holmes, Justin D.
Flynn, Eoin J.
Greater sustainability in mass manufacturing is essential to alleviating anthropogenic climate change. High surface-area, micro- and nano-patterned films have become a fundamental tool in materials science, however these technologies are subject to a dwindling petrochemical supply, increasing costs and disposability concerns. This paper describes the production of patterned biopolymer films utilizing controlled phase separation of biopolymeric thin films into nanopatterns using easily transferable variables and methods. Similar morphologies to those commonly observed with synthetic block-copolymers (BCPs) were achieved across a large range of feature sizes, from 160 nm to >5 μm: Bicontinuous, porous, droplet-matrix, particulated and dimpled. Protein and polysaccharide type, protein to polysaccharide ratio, casting method and ambient humidity were primary conditions found to influence the pore morphology of the films. High protein concentrations (4:1 and 2:1 blends) generally resulted in porous structures whereas high polysaccharide concentrations (1:2 and 1:4 blends) resulted in spherical structures. High humidity conditions (60% + relative humidity) resulted in the growth of large protuberances up to 10 µm in diameter while lower humidity (10–30%) resulted in discrete features smaller than 200 nm.
Protein , Polysaccharide , Biopolymer , Patterning , Morphology , Phase separation , Ostwald ripening
Banta, R. A., Collins, T. W., Curley, R. A., Young, P. W., Holmes, J. D. and Flynn, E. J. (2018) 'Nanopatterned protein-polysaccharide thin films by humidity regulated phase separation', Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 532, pp. 171-181. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.07.109