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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 May 23;10(20):17375-17382. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b00268. Epub 2018 May 14.

Microbubble-Triggered Spontaneous Separation of Transparent Thin Films from Substrates Using Evaporable Core-Shell Nanocapsules.

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Department of Chemical Engineering , Myongji University , Yongin , Gyeonggi-do 17058 , Republic of Korea.
Next Generation R&D Team, Samsung Display , Yongin , Gyeonggi-do 17113 , Republic of Korea.


The spontaneous separation of a polymer thin film from a substrate is an innovative technology that will enable material recycling and reduce manufacturing cost in the film industry, and this can be applied in a wide range of applications, from optical films to wearable devices. Here, we present an unprecedented spontaneous strategy for separating transparent polymer films from substrates on the basis of microbubble generation using nanocapsules containing an evaporable material. The core-shell nanocapsules are prepared from poly(methyl methacrylate)-polyethyleneimine nanoparticles via the encapsulation of methylcyclohexane (MCH). A spherical nanostructure with a vaporizable core is obtained, with the heat-triggered gas release ability leading to the formation of microbubbles. Our separation method applied to transparent polymer films doped with a small amount of the nanocapsules encapsulating evaporable MCH enables spontaneous detachment of thin films from substrates via vacuum-assisted rapid vaporization of MCH over a short separation time, and clear detachment of the film is achieved with no deterioration of the inherent optical transparency and adhesive property compared to a pristine film.


bubble; evaporation; nanocapsule; separation; thin film


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