A method of forming a smooth thin film on a substrate within a short deposition time, the method comprising introducing ionic substances (salts, acids, bases) to a polymeric solution to be sprayed. These ions attach to the polymer strands in solution, increasing their charge to mass ratio. This results in mutual repulsion of the strands during the spray process and produces a smooth film, even at relatively high polymeric solution concentrations. A side effect of this process is the introduction of impurities (the added ions) to the polymer thin film. The proper choice of ionic compound allows a dissolution step to be used to “clean” the polymer film after deposition, using the solubility characteristics of the thin film versus the ionic compound.
Schlaf, Rudiger, "Method of thin film electrospray deposition" (2011). USF Patents. 386.
University of South Florida