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Fluorosurfactant SURFLON


A fluorosurfactant is a surfactant that contains a perfluoroalkyl group.
A fluorosurfactant can realize low surface tension with smaller adding amount as compared with generally used hydrocarbon surfactants or silicone surfactants. In other words, this is a surfactant that has a low critical micelle concentration and a low critical surface tension.
These characteristics are derived from the following facts: the atomic radius of the fluorine atom is slightly larger than that of the hydrogen atom; and a high electronegativity of the fluorine atom enables the formation of a strong carbon-fluorine bond thereby forming the perfluoroalkyl group having weak intermolecular force and small interaction with other substances.
Because of this low surface tension, the system added with a fluorosurfactant can express excellent wettability.

Fluorine and Hydrogen Comparison

  Hydrogen Fluorine
Chemical Symbol H F
Van der Waals radius (Å) 1.2 1.35
Electronegativity 2.1 4.0
C-X Bond distance (Å) 1.09 1.32
C-X Binding energy (CX4)(kJ/mol) 416 486

By this surfactant, surface tension can be lowered markedly not only in a water system but also in a solvent system.
Even in a solvent system in which wettability cannot be improved readily by a general hydrocarbon surfactant, addition of a fluorosurfactant can lower surface tension so that wetting and penetration properties can be improved.

By utilizing such functions, a fluorosurfactant is used in a wide range of applications.


  Hydrocarbon Surfactant Fluorosurfactant
Hydrocarbon groups are orientated on the surface. Perfluoroalkyl groups are orientated on the surface.
Dissolution occurs because of no orientation on the surface. Perfluoroalkyl groups are orientated on the surface.

Surface tension(20℃)(mN/m)

Solvent surface
Solvent surface
Water 72.8 DMSO 43.5
Methanol 22.5 Octane 21.6
Ethanol 22.4 Dichloro methane 27.8
Ethyl acetate 24.0 Cycrothexanone 35.2
Methyl ethyl ketone 24.5 Diethylene glycol 45.2
Toluene 28.5 Butyl cellosolve 26.5

Surface tension of water is in the high range of more than 70.
On the other hand, surface tension of a generally used organic solvent is in the level of 20s to 40s. In a solvent whose surface tension is in the level of 20s, the surface tension cannot be lowered by a general surfactant. However, a fluorosurfactant can lower the surface tension to the level of 10s by orientating the perfluoroalkyl group on the surface.


SURFLON is a fluorosurfactant having the perfluoroalkyl group in its molecular structure. As a result of our extensive investigation, SURFLON can now express its performance by the perfluoroalkyl group of a low carbon number (6 or lower carbon atoms)—with such a low carbon number, it has been considered from the past research that expression of a performance like this is difficult.
The lineup of SURFLON can respond to any of the aqueous and the non-aqueous systems. In either system, a low surface tension level of less than 20 mN/m can be obtained by addition amount of 0.1% or less. Critical surface tension of 15 mN/m could be accomplished as the lowest level with the low concentration of less than 100 ppm. Because of this low surface tension achieved, such properties as wetting, leveling, and penetration properties can be improved.
For the aqueous system, anionic, cationic, amphoteric, and nonionic surfactants, i.e., any ionic type, are available. A full lineup is provided including the non-aqueous system.
SURFLON can express its function with a small amount so that effect to the product cost can be made extremely small.


For specific application examples, reference can be made to this link.

In its main use for various fields and various compositions, various functions can be expressed with addition amount of several ten to several thousand ppm.
Though not general, a surface application type and a surface coating type, not an addition type, may be used as the alternative use methods.

An illustrative example of the fluorosurfactant of the addition type includes coating and ink, floor wax, photographic emulsion, cleaning agent, resist, grease, water glass, lens anti-fogger, plating liquid, PTFE dispersion, electrolytic solution, PVC film, and PO film.
The lineup products correspond to any of the aqueous and the non-aqueous systems.

For the coating type, specific application examples include mold-releasing agent, surface treatment for anti-fouling of wooden and stone materials, and dry cleaning.


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