NSTI Nanotech 2009

Nanostructured Polymer Brushes: From Nanocomposites to Ultrathin Smart Coatings

R.C. Advincula
University of Houston, US

Keywords: nanostructure, polymer brushes, surface modification, smart coatings


Polymer Brushes are grafted polymer systems based on adsorption or covalent tethering via surface initiated polymerization. This comprises of the: -grafting from, -grafting onto, and -grafting though approaches. This means that it is possible to carry out surface modification using pre-formed macromolecules or via surface initiated polymerization methods at the nanoscale. A number of chemistries have been utilized to create innovative nanostructures based on polyelectrolyte assembly, initiator density control, and sequential polymerization methods. Stimuli-response is possible based on field effects and orthogonal or lateral gradient properties. This talk will describe our efforts towards grafting polymers on industrially relevant surfaces and functional nanoparticles for the formation of smart nanostructured functional coatings and nanocomposites. These systems have stimuli response which allows for applications as membranes, autophobic surfaces, and electro-optical coatings. Solid support substrates can range from plastic, PET to metal surfaces. As such it is possible to tether linear polymers and hyperbranched macromolecules with functionalities towards low energy surfaces or even electrical conductivity or anti-static properties. The use of innovate chemistry combined with electrochemical methods and surface sensitive analytical methods allows for a detailed study of these nanostructured materials. This talk will also describe approached towards practical commercial coating applications.
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