Wettability of graphitic materials and development of graphene layer as barriers to prevent the surface degradation induced by water.

Bartali, Ruben (2018) Wettability of graphitic materials and development of graphene layer as barriers to prevent the surface degradation induced by water. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Graphitic materials, thanks to the lamellar structure and chemical stability, are of particular interest to realize barriers against the degradation of surface properties induced by water. Many studies showed that water could be a source of degradation of surface properties. To develop a method to overcome the problem related to the deterioration of the surface it is fundamental to study the water- material interaction. For this reason, in this thesis, the water-surface interaction of graphitic- materials and the use of graphitic materials as impermeable barriers against water were explored. Different experimental set up were realized to study the liquid-gas-solid interaction, such as time evolution of the sessile water drop contact angle, captive bubble contact angle and contact angle measurements in a controlled atmosphere. Moreover, a method of deposition of protective graphene-based films using a Meyer rod to apply graphene-inks onto a surface was developed. To understand the intrinsic wettability of graphitic materials a detailed study of the gas-liquid-solid interactions of graphite was conducted in a wide range of experimental conditions. The surface chemical properties and morphology were studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), profilometry and atomic force microscopy(AFM), sessile drop contact angle, captive bubble and secondary emission microscopy (SEM). The results of the gas-liquid–surface interaction study indicated that HOPG surface was sensitive to experimental conditions like airborne contamination and the presence of gases. Similarly, a detailed study of the interaction of water with PDMS surface in various experimental conditions (in the air and immersed in water) were conducted. The findings showed that when PDMS was immersed in water, its surface changed. In fact, the volume of air bubbles in contact with the surface of PDMS increased by increasing immersion time in the water. The experimental results indicated that such dynamic evolution of the air bubbles was related to the rearrangement of surface polymer chains via the migration of the polar groups. This phenomenon induced a degradation of the surface properties of PDMS when it is immersed in water. When graphene monolayer was added to PDMS surface, it acted as a barrier against water, suppressing the dynamic evolution of the bubble. We studied the protective properties also of graphene-based films deposited on lead (Pb). We observed that Pb surface degradation occurred when Pb was in contact with a drop of water. The results showed that degradation of Pb surface in contact with water happened very rapidly but graphene-based films, in particular, graphene oxides films, were able to reduce degradation of the surface significantly.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Physics
PhD Cycle:29
Subjects:Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/03 FISICA DELLA MATERIA
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