The electrocopolymerization of carbazole and acrylamide on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) from ACN solutions via cyclovoltammetry (CV) was studied in order to evaluate the possibility to deposit uniform and thin but pinhole-free and still reactive coatings onto graphite-like substrates. The morphology of the coatings was investigated using atomic force microscopy and the coating thicknesses and optical parameters were measured using ellipsometry. It was found that under the chosen conditions thin (coating thickness hf>180 nm) and relatively smooth (root mean square surface roughness RMS<150 nm) P(Cz-co-AAm)-coatings exhibiting a uniform globuoidal morphology can be deposited onto graphite. From a certain coating thickness (hf>50 nm) no pinholes could be detected. It was found that the thickness of the deposited coatings increases almost linearly with increasing number of CV-cycles while keeping all other experimental parameters (scan rate and comonomer concentration ratio) constant. No influence of the comonomer concentration ratio on the film thickness and coating appearance could be observed, however, at quite low initial concentrations. However, the CV-scanning rate has quite a significant influence on the thickness of the deposited coatings. Higher scan rates (100 mV/s) result in thin (hf≈22 nm) coatings whereas at lower scan rates (<50 mV/s) coatings with thicknesses of approximately 50 nm were obtained. The optical coating parameters (the refractive index n and extinction coefficient k) seem to be independent of the deposition parameters and therefore averaged values of n̄=1.54±0.03 and k̄=0.08±0.03 were obtained.
- atomic force microscopy
- photoelectron spectroscopy