Surface-Initiated Passing-Through Polymerization on a Rubber Substrate: Supplying Monomer from Swollen Substrates
journal contributionposted on 05.08.2022, 20:40 authored by Sean T. McDermott, Shawn P. Ward, Ngoc Chau H. Vy, Zilu Wang, Mayra Daniela Morales-Acosta, Andrey V. Dobrynin, Douglas H. Adamson
Passing-through polymerization is a technique for growing surface-initiated polymer brushes where monomers are supplied to the growing chains by diffusing through the initiator-functionalized surface. This inverts the monomer concentration gradient relative to conventional grafting-from mechanisms, allowing for the synthesis of thicker and more densely packed brushes. Here we use a combination of coarse-grained computer simulations and experimental techniques to demonstrate how this approach can be implemented, with swellable network-like substrates supplying monomers to the functionalized surface as they diffuse out of the swollen network. Compared to grafting-from polymer brushes, this method shows a higher contact angle and a greater brush mass. Additionally, we observed that the passing-through approach could lead to strain-induced crystallization in the brush layer or wrinkling of the brush surface, which we used to estimate the brush thickness. The developed method opens a path for large-scale synthesis of the brush-modified elastic substrates.
Read the peer-reviewed publication
modified elastic substrateshigher contact anglegrained computer simulationsdensely packed brushesdeveloped method opensgreater brush massapproach could leadinitiated polymer brushesswollen substrates passingpolymer brushesswollen networkmethod showsinitiated passingswellable networksupplying monomerrubber substrateinduced crystallizationgrowing chainsexperimental techniquesbrush thicknessbrush layer