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Roxanna Kiessling, Samuel J.S. Rubin, Jacquelyn Zehner, Collin Barraugh, Katherine Snell, Corinna Fukushima, Matthew Mulligan, Melissa Keckley, Anthony Bosshardt, Walter Cook, and Babak Sanii. 2017. Gravity-Drawn Silicone Filaments: Production, Characterization, and Wormlike Chain Dynamics. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9: 39916–39920. Full Article

We introduce a method to produce continuous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) silicone filaments on the order of 0.5m long and 100 μm in diameter. The approach overcomes traditional limitations in silicone drawing by partially precuring the polymer and drawing through a tube furnace. We characterize the filaments’ mechanical properties, and their ability to switch hydrophobicity by UV-ozone and corona discharge patterning. The flexible filaments’ dynamic properties were evaluated by way of athermal acoustic excitation at the air−water interface, revealing conformational reconfigurability consistent with a wormlike chain model. We envision applications in rapid prototyping and as a platform for model foldamer studies.

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