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Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

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Submitted Manuscript

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We have developed a new spray-based method for characterizing surface energies of planar, porous substrates. Distinct spray modes (electrospray versus electrostatic-spray), from the porous substrates, occur in the presence of an applied DC potential after wetting with solvents of different surface tension. The ion current resulting from the spray process maximizes when the surface energy of the porous substrate approaches the surface tension of the wetting solvent. By monitoring selected ion current (e.g., benzoylecgonine, m/z 290→168) with a mass spectrometer or total ion current with an ammeter, the solvent surface tension yielding the maximum ion current was determined to indicate the surface energy of the solid. Detailed evaluations using polymeric substrates of known surface energies enabled effective calibration of the approach that resulted in the correct estimation of the surface energy of hydrophobic paper substrates prepared by gas-phase silanization. A three-parameter empirical model suggests that the experimentally observed ion current profile is governed by differential partitioning of analyte controlled by the interfacial forces between the wetting solvent and the porous substrate.


This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Langmuir, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02419. Posted with permission.

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American Chemical Society



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