About this Research Topic
In science as well as in industry, the impetus of research on bio-based polymers has recently expanded into new terrains. The need to replace fossil-based materials with sustainable and renewable sources is one of the main drivers for the emergence and the development of new and environmentally friendly materials. While some materials applications of bio-based polymers are already very well established, for instance, in paper and textiles, others have just emerged with thin films and coatings being a recent and particular area of interest. Thin films in general are an enormous field of research both fundamentally and from an applied perspective, with uses ranging from corrosion resistance to photovoltaics and sensors. Since bio-based materials are a relatively novel source material for thin films, the research in this area is at a fresh, exciting stage at the moment.
This Research Topic on bio-based polymer thin films and coatings should serve as a forum to present the latest achievements in the field of thin film technology or coating techniques using biopolymers. Articles appropriate for this Research Topic report on research involving polysaccharides, lignin, proteins, proteoglykans, DNA/RNA, and biopolyesters, either processed as a thin film or deposited as coatings on any type of surface. Articles on (nano)composites and hybrid materials, i.e. thin films or coatings that involve other materials than mere biopolymers such as inorganics, are within the scope of this Research Topic and highly welcome as well.
Articles should focus either on manufacturing or on the properties/potential applications of thin films and coatings. This includes studies to tune the basic parameters of the thin films or coatings, e.g. thickness, morphology, homogeneity, surface free energy, tribology/friction, scratch resistance, transparency, optics, thermodynamics, crystallinity, and cytocompatibility. Besides these basic parameter studies, interaction studies at the interface of polymeric thin films and coatings are within the scope of this Research Topic. This includes interactions of the bio-based polymer films/coatings with biomolecules such as polysaccharides, proteins, proteoglykans, lignin, and DNA/RNA. Interactions with water or any other solvents either in liquid or vapor phase are included. There is no limitation concerning the structure of the films/coatings, which can either consist of single or multiple layers. The method of preparation of the films and coatings includes, but is not limited to, spin coating, dip coating, spray coating, knife casting, Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, and layer-by-layer assembly.
Submissions related to applications of bio-based polymer thin films and coatings are also highly welcome. This includes their use as barriers, anti-fouling materials, sensors, catalytic supports, membranes, artificial tissues, cell growth surfaces, drug delivery supports, wound dressings, optical devices, optoelectronics and advanced materials, and light weight composites, for instance. It should be made clear in the submissions which role the biopolymer plays in the particular application(s), and a comparison to the state of the art should be made, if applicable.
Keywords: thin films, surface interactions, biopolymers, cellulose, chitosan
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.