Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Jeffrey Weimer

Committee Member

Carmen Scholz

Committee Member

Bernhard Vogler

Research Advisor

Jeffrey Weimer


Surface chemistry--Research, Hydrophobic surfaces, Fatty acids


The goal of this project was to make flat hydrophilic, silicon oxide-like surfaces hydrophobic. Using fatty acids in a wet chemistry approach. Glass, mica, and silicon wafer surfaces were cleaned with standard methods from the literature. The substrates were functionalized with oleic acid and stearic acid in ethyl alcohol. The solution concentration was held constant at 100 times a theoretical minimum concentration. The substrates were immersed at various functionalization times and various solution temperatures. Contact angle goniometer was used to measure the contact angle for water on the functionalized surfaces. The results confirmed that glass and oxidized silicon wafer surfaces can be made hydrophobic with oleic or stearic acid. The optimal immersion time in oleic acid was 1,000 min. At longer times, the surfaces become hydrophilic again. Functionalizing with stearic acid gave comparable contact angles to oleic acid for room temperature and 80 °C. Contact angles for oleic acid were lower at intermediate temperatures. The observations were proposed to be due to a bilayer formation at higher acid concentration.



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