Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to directly observe and characterize a polymer-modified mica surface prepared using a polymerizable gemini surfactant. Normal tapping mode and contact mode AFM were used to image the treated mica surface morphologies in air and liquid environments, respectively. The root mean square (RMS) roughness of mica surfaces before and after surface modification and polymerization was analyzed from these scans. To determine the effect of styrene adsolubilization on the surfactant-modified mica, AFM measurements of the modified mica were made at various styrene concentrations. Contact angle measurements were also made to further characterize the nature of the surfactant-modified mica surface. The surface morphology and surface hydrophilicity were observed to be different for the modified mica after polymerization. In addition, the polymerized surface maintained its morphology after washing/desorption studies demonstrating the stability of the polymerized surfactant film. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010
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