Silicone compounds have a very low surface energy due to highly flexible Si-O-Si backbone and large number of –CH3 groups, but these compounds are extremely hydrophobic and thus have limited applications in aqueous formulations. Modification of such silicone compounds by grafting hydrophilic chains provides a wide range of silicone products called "Silicone Surfactants". Silicone surfactants are surface active agents which get adsorbed at the air-water interface thereby, reducing the interfacial tension. Some of the larger applications of silicone surfactant are in the manufacture of plastic foams, in personal care products and as spreading and wetting agents (Hill, R.M, 2002).
In this thesis, a series of silicone surfactant graft copolymers were synthesized via hydrosilylation reaction. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of different chain length was grafted to a hydrophobic Poly(methylhydrosiloxane) (PMHS) backbone to improve the final hydrophilicity. Also, a positively charged quaternary ammonium salt (allyltriethylammonium bromide) was grafted to the PMHS backbone. The objective of this thesis was to synthesize polymers in predefined ratios of the above mentioned side groups and utilize these polymers to-
1) Study the effect of PEG chain length and its composition on the hydrophilicity of the polymer.
2) Study the effect of PEG: ammonium salt ratio on the surface tension of aqueous systems.
Analysis of FT-IR and 1H NMR spectra of the polymers confirmed the predicted structure. The absence of characteristic Si-H absorbance peak at 2160 cm-1 in FT-IR spectra indicates consumption of silane groups along the polymer backbone. The actual moles of the side chain grafted on the backbone are calculated by 1H NMR peak integration. The results of contact angle studies indicated an increase in hydrophilicity with an increase in the composition of PEG in molecule. A 2*2 factorial DOE analysis reported that the fraction of Si-H bonds converted to PEG grafts was the critical factor towards increasing the hydrophilicity (p value of 0.015). Surface tension studies report that the air-water interfacial tension of the synthesized polymers is between 28mN/m – 45mN/m. The amount of Si-H was concluded to be the deciding factor in lowering the surface tension.