Supercritical carbon dioxide swelling of fluorinated and hydrocarbon surfactant templates in mesoporous silica thin films

Kaustav Ghosh, Hans Joachim Lehmler, Stephen E. Rankin, Barbara L. Knutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The penetration of compressed CO 2 in hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon regions of concentrated surfactant mesophases are interpreted from differences in the CO 2-processed pore expansion of mesoporous silica thin films templated by three surfactants containing varying degrees of hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon functionality. Ordered silica thin films are synthesized for the first time using the 16-carbon (C 16) partly fluorinated surfactant, 11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14,15,15,16,16,16-tridecafluorocetyl pyridinium bromide (HFCPB), as a templating agent. Silica films templated with surfactants containing a 8-carbon (C 8) fluorocarbon tail (3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,8-tridecafluorooctyl pyridinium chloride (HFOPC)) and a 16-carbon (C 16) hydrocarbon tail (cetyl pyridinium bromide (CPB)) and HFCPB (C 16) are processed in compressed CO 2 (69-172bar, 25°C and 45°C) during synthesis. CO 2 processing results in significant pore expansion for films templated with both fluorinated surfactants, while pore expansion is negligible for the hydrocarbon templated material suggesting that preferential CO 2 penetration occurs in the 'CO 2-philic' fluorocarbon segments of the surfactant template. The effect of substrate surface energy on the final uniformity of the dip-coated films is studied by varying the substrate from unmodified glass to a fluorocarbon-capped substrate. The ability to create dip-coated thin films on low surface energy substrates through favorable interaction of surfactant template tail with the substrate surface functional groups is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge National Science Foundation NIRT Grant # DMR-0210517 and Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation Grant KSEF-159-RDE-001 for funding this research project. We would also like to thank Dr. Sandhya Vyas for the synthesis of the fluorinated surfactants, Dr. Tonglei Li and Clare Aubrey Medendrop for assistance with the contact angle measurements and Dr. Todd Hastings for help with the profilometer.


  • 'CO -philic' surfactants
  • Carbon-dioxide penetration
  • Dip-coated films
  • Surfactant solution spreading
  • Surfactant templated silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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