Polylactide films formed by immersion precipitation: Effects of additives, nonsolvent, and temperature

H.I.M. Sawalha, C.G.P.H. Schroën, R.M. Boom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of nonsolvent, crystallinity of the polymer film, and addition of dodecane (a poor solvent for the polymer and for the nonsolvent) on the morphology of polylactides films has been investigated and was related to phase separation behavior. Both amorphous poly-DL-lactide (PDLLA) and crystalline poly-L-lactide (PLLA) were dissolved in dichloromethane, and subsequently films were made by immersion in nonsolvent baths. PDLLA gave dense films without any internal structure, since the structure was not solidified by crystallization or glassification. PLLA films show varying structure depending on the nonsolvent. With methanol, asymmetric morphologies were observed as a result from combined liquid-liquid demixing and crystallization, while with water symmetric spherulitic structures were formed. As a next step, dodecane was added, which is not miscible with the nonsolvent, and we found it to have a strong influence on the morphology of the films. The PDLLA films with dodecane did not collapse: a closed cell structure was obtained. In PLLA films, dodecane speeds up phase separation and induces faster crystallization in the films, and the porosity, size of the pores, and interconnectivity increased. When the PLLA solutions were subjected to a heat pretreatment, crystallization could be postponed, which yielded a cellular structure around dodecane, which did not contain spherulites anymore
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-971
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • induced phase-separation
  • pvdf membrane formation
  • asymmetric membranes
  • systems
  • water
  • morphology
  • methanol
  • transitions
  • mechanism
  • behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Polylactide films formed by immersion precipitation: Effects of additives, nonsolvent, and temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this