Anti-Adhesive Organosilane Coating Comprising Visibility on Demand
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There is a wide application field for anti-adhesive and hydrophobic coatings, stretching from self-cleaning surfaces over anti-graffiti and release coatings to demolding aids in the production of polymers. The typical materials for the latter are hard coatings, including TiN, CrN, diamond-like carbon, etc. Alternatively, organosilane coatings based on perfluorinated compounds or molecules with long alkyl side chains can be employed. Although these functional layers are generally required to be invisible, there is a demand for a straightforward approach, which enables the temporary control of successful and homogeneous application as well as abrasion and wear of the coatings during use. For this purpose, a visibility-on-demand property was introduced to an already established anti-adhesive organosilane coating by incorporation of 1,8-naphthalimide-N-propyltriethoxysilane (NIPTES) as a fluorescent marker molecule. While the naphthalimide unit provides blue fluorescence under UV irradiation, the ethoxy groups of NIPTES enable the covalent coupling to the coating as a result of the hydrolysis and condensation reactions. As a consequence, the fluorescent marker molecule NIPTES can simply be added to the coating solution as an additional organosilane component, without the need for changes in the approved deposition procedure. The generated fluorescent anti-adhesive coatings were characterized by contact angle measurements, atomic force microscopy (AFM), as well as by different spectroscopic techniques, including FTIR, UV-Vis, fluorescence and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). In addition, the on-demand control function provided by the introduced fluorescence properties was evaluated along an injection molding process.