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Mechanochemical Activation of Silicone for Large-Scale Fabrication of Anti-Biofouling Liquid-like Surfaces

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posted on 2023-11-13, 05:29 authored by Nusret Celik, Furkan Sahin, Mahmut Ruzi, Ahmet Ceylan, Hans-Jürgen Butt, Mustafa Serdar Onses
Large-scale preparation of liquid-like coatings with perfect transparency via solventless and room-temperature processes using low-cost and biocompatible materials is of tremendous interest for a broad range of applications. Here, we present a mechanochemical activation strategy for solventless grafting of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) onto glass, silicon wafers, and ceramics. Activation is achieved via ball milling PDMS without using any solvents or additives prior to application. Ball milling results in chain scission and generation of free radicals, allowing room-temperature grafting at durations ≤1 h. The deposition of ball-milled PDMS can be facilitated by brushing or drop-casting, enabling large-scale applications. The resulting surfaces facilitate the sliding of droplets at angles <20° for liquids with surface tension ranging from 22 to 73 mN/m. An important application for public health is generating anti-biofouling coatings on sanitary ware. For example, PDMS-grafted surfaces prepared on a regular-size toilet bowl exhibit a 105-fold decrease in the attachment of bacteria from urine. These findings highlight the significant potential of mechanochemical processes for the practical preparation of liquid-like surfaces.

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