Conference Report

K. L. Mittal
1981 ElectroComponent Science and Technology  
many areas of human endeavor and all signals indicate that their usage is going to grow more and more in times to come. Wheresoever polymers are used, their surface characteristics become of paramount importance and the applications of polymers range from microelectronics to prosthetics. So the need to understand and tailor polymer surface properties is quite patent, and the availability of sophisticated surface analytical tools has been a boon in enhancing our knowledge of polymer surfaces. In
more » ... olymer surfaces. In the past the topic of polymer surfaces has been discussed in various meetings, but this Symposium was hailed as the most comprehensive ever held on this important topic, as the technical program contained a total of 84 papers by more than 150 authors from 21 countries representing many corners of the world. However, for a variety of reasons, a few papers were not presented and this is not unexpected considering the magnitude of the symposium. In any case it was a veritable international event irrespective of how one looks at it, and it elicited an excellent response in terms of attendees (there were 260 at the time of the Opening Remarks at 8:30 in the morning). The attendees represented a broad spectrum of backgrounds, interests and professional affiliations but all had one common denominator-interest in learning the latest about polymer surfaces. There were many brisk and enlightening (but not exothermic) discussions and these were augmented by more informal corridor conversations. If the comments I have heard from the attendees is a barometer of the usefulness and success of the Symposium, then it was a grand success. The Symposium was organized with the following objectives in mind: to bring together scientists and technologists interested in all ramifications of polymer surfaces, to review and assess the current state-of-theknowledge, to provide a forum for exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas. The best way to present the state-of-the-art on a topic is via a blend of overviews and original research papers, and this is exactly what was done in this case. The program contained both invited and contributed papers and these were both overview and unpublished original research in character. The invited speakers were selected so as to represent widely differing disciplines and interests, and these hailed from academic, governmental and industrial research laboratories. The program was divided into nine sessions: (i) Spectroscopic Analysis, (ii) Contact Angle, Wettability and Surface Energetics, (iii) Reactions and Interactions, (iv) Tribology and Triboelectrification, (v) Adsorption and Adhesion, (vi) Crazing, Fracture and Morphology, (vii) Modification of Polymer Surfaces, (viii) Biomedical Aspects and Bioadhesion, and (ix) Polymer-Metal Interfaces. Even a cursory glance at the titles of the sessions should suffice to underscore that practically every aspect of polymer surfaces was covered. Even a brief description of each paper will render this Report prohibitively long so here are presented some salient comments about each session. In the first Session a number of techniques for characterizing polymer surfaces were discussed and these included ESCA, Transmission and Reflection Spectroscopy, FT-IR, Photoacoustic FT-IR, and Auger Spectroscopy. The second session dealt with the determination of contact angles and surface free energies of polymers. The surface energy of polymers plays a important role in many areas (e.g., wetting, adhesion, printing, etc.) and these were discussed. Also the surface thermodynamics of liquid polymers was discussed. The third session was devoted to reactions and interactions (thermal oxidation, photooxidation, radiation) at polymer surfaces. The papers ranged from interactions at polymer surfaces (in the 165
doi:10.1155/apec.9.165 fatcat:oxqfjupysrf2pltvqjiwdoht5m