Gravity-Drawn Silicone Filaments: Production, Characterization, and Wormlike Chain Dynamics

We introduce a method to produce continuous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) silicone filaments on the order of 0.5 m long and 100 μm in diameter. The approach overcomes traditional limitations in silicone drawing by partially precuring the polymer and drawing through a tube furnace. We characterize the filaments’ mechanical properties, and their ability to switch hydrophobicity by UV-ozone and corona discharge patterning. The flexible filaments’ dynamic properties were evaluated by way of athermal acoustic excitation at the air–water interface, revealing conformational reconfigurability consistent with a wormlike chain model. We envision applications in rapid prototyping and as a platform for model foldamer studies.