Elastomeric polymer multilayer thin film with sustainable gas barrier at high strain

Most gas barrier thin films suffer from cracking or plastic deformation when stretched, leading to significant loss of barrier. In an effort to make a stretchable gas barrier, which maintains low permeability when exposed to cyclic strain, we prepared layer-by-layer assemblies of tannic acid (TA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). A 40-bilayer (344 nm-thick) TA/PEO assembly maintained its oxygen transmission rate (6X lower than the 1.6 mm-thick rubber substrate) after being stretched 100%. This submicron coating maintains a barrier 4X lower than the thick rubber substrate even after being strained 20X at 100%. These highly elastomeric assemblies are potentially useful for light-weighting inflatable devices.

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Xiang, FM; Givens, TM; Ward, SM; Grunlan, JC; ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 20157 (30), 16148-16151.

Published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 / Thin Films