Crosslinkable‐Chitosan‐Enabled Moisture‐Resistant Multilayer Gas Barrier Thin Film

Chitosan‐based films exhibit good oxygen barrier that degrades when exposed to high humidity. In an effort to overcome this drawback, a multilayer nanocoating consisting of crosslinkable chitosan (CHQ) and poly(acrylic acid) [PAA] is deposited on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) using layer‐by‐layer assembly. Chitosan is functionalized with glycidyl methacrylate to introduce acrylic functionalities within the film. The deposited films are crosslinked using a free radical initiator and this crosslinking is confirmed by FTIR and reduced film thickness. A 10‐bilayer (BL) crosslinked CHQ/PAA film, which is only 165 nm thick, results in a 36× reduction of the oxygen transmission rate of PET at 90% relative humidity. To achieve these same results without crosslinking, a 15‐BL unmodified chitosan (CH)/PAA film, which is almost 5× thicker, must be deposited on PET. This environmentally friendly, transparent nanocoating is promising for food packaging or protection of flexible electronics, especially in high‐humidity environments.

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S. Lazar, O. Garcia-Valdez, E. Kennedy, P. Champagne, M. Cunningham, J.C. Grunlan, Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2019, 40, 1800853.
Published in January 2019