A method of preparing model cellulose surfaces by the Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) technique with horizontal dipping procedure has been developed. The primary aim for the use of these surfaces was adsorption studies performed with the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) instrument. Hydrophobised cellulose (trimethylsilyl cellulose, TMSC) was deposited on the hydrophobic, polystyrene-coated QCM-D crystal. After 15 dipping cycles, the TMSC film fully covers the crystal surface. TMSC can easily be hydrolysed back to cellulose with acid hydrolysis. With this method a smooth, rigid, thin and reproducible cellulose film was obtained. Its morphology, coverage, chemical composition and wetting was further characterised using atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and contact angle measurements. The swelling behaviour and the stability of the cellulose film in aqueous solutions at different ionic strengths were studied using the QCM-D instrument. The swelling/deswelling properties of the cellulose film were those expected of polyelectrolytes with low charge density; some swelling occurred in pure water and the swelling decreased when the ionic strength was increased. No significant layer softening was detected during the swelling. The effect of electrolyte concentration and polymer charge density on the adsorption of cationic polyelectrolytes on the cellulose surface was also investigated. At low electrolyte concentration less of the highly charged PDADMAC was adsorbed as compared to low charged C-PAM. The adsorbed amount of PDADMAC increased with increasing ionic strength and a more compact layer was formed while the effect of electrolyte concentration on the adsorption of C-PAM was not as pronounced.
- cellulose model film
- Langmuir-Blodgett technique