Improving oxygen barrier and reducing moisture sensitivity of weak polyelectrolyte multilayer thin films with crosslinking Academic Article uri icon


  • Thin films of polyethylenimine (PEI) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), deposited using layer-by-layer assembly, were studied to understand the influence of various crosslinking methods on their oxygen and water vapor barrier. Glutaraldehyde (GA), 1-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]-3-ethylcarbodiimide methiodide (EDC) and thermal crosslinking were evaluated with respect to film thickness and barrier properties. The thickness of an 8 bilayer PEI/PAA assembly decreased from 640 to 551 nm after crosslinking with a 0.1 M aqueous GA solution and obtained an oxygen permeability one order of magnitude better than an SiOx thin film (<5.9 10-21 cm3 cm cm2 s1 Pa1) This same crosslinking treatment reduced the oxygen transmission rate (OTR), measured at 23 C and 100% RH, from 0.61 to 0.09 (cm3 m-2 day 1). Increasing the number of bilayers and heating time with thermal crosslinking also reduces the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR). These nanocoatings are a promising alternative to currently used barrier layers for flexible electronics and food packaging. 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, Y., Bolling, L., Haile, M., & Grunlan, J. C.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Yang, You-Hao||Bolling, Laura||Haile, Merid||Grunlan, Jaime C

publication date

  • December 2012