The role of solvent evaporation in the microstructure of electroactive β-poly(vinylidene fluoride) membranes obtained by isothermal crystallization
Electroactive β-poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes were obtained by isothermal crystallization from the solution. Different morphologies and microstructures were obtained by crystallizing at different temperatures. The mechanism and kinetics of solvent evaporation from the polymeric solution were investigated using isothermal thermogravimetric analysis. The kinetic parameters and the activation energy were also calculated. The solvent evaporation is ruled by two steps, related with a metastable- unstable-metastable transition in the solution phase diagram. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the porous structure and the variations of the morphology with the variation of the isothermal evaporation temperature. Finally, the infrared spectroscopy measurements confirm that the polymer crystallizes in the electroactive-phase of PVDF.