Wrinkling Poly(trimethylene 2,5-Furanoate) Free-standing Films: Nanostructure Formation and Physical Properties

Nanostructured wrinkles were developed on fully bio-based poly(trimethylene furanoate) (PTF) films by using the technique of Laser Induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS). We investigated the effect of irradiation time on wrinkle formation using an UV pulsed laser source, at a fluence of 8 mJ/cm2. It was found that the pulse range between 600 and 4800 pulses allowed formation of periodic nanometric ripples. The nanostructured surface was studied using a combined macro- and nanoscale approach. We evaluated possible physicochemical changes taking place on the polymer surface after irradiation by infrared spectroscopy, contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy. The macroscopic physicochemical properties of PTF showed almost no changes after nanostructure formation, differently from the results previously found for the terephthalic counterparts, as poly(ethyleneterephthalate), PET, and poly(trimethyleneterephthalate), PTT. The surface mechanical properties of the nanostructured PTF were found to be improved, as evidenced by nanomechanical force spectroscopy measurements. In particular, an increased Young’s modulus and higher stiffness for the nanostructured sample were measured.