Room-temperature, aqueous phase fabrication of PMAA brushes by UV-LED-induced, controlled radical polymerization with high selectivity for surface-bound species

Raphael Heeb, Robert M. Bielecki, Seunghwan Lee, Nicholas D. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) brushes were grafted from Si/SiO2 substrates by means of immobilized-photoiniferter-mediated controlled radical polymerization. The employed UV setup was based on ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs), which allowed for a precise control of the brush height with irradiation time, as observed by in situ quartz crystal microbalance experiments with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). In contrast to many alternative approaches, it was shown that the novelUVsource in combination with a photoiniferter renders lengthy postcleaning steps of the synthesized brushes unnecessary. Following characterization of the polymer layers by means of variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) and static contact angle measurements, the lubrication properties of the PMAA brushes were investigated in macroscopic tribological experiments under low-contact-pressure, aqueous conditions. Results indicated that PMAA brushes have the potential to dramatically reduce sliding friction in an aqueous environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecules
Volume42
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)9124-9132
ISSN0024-9297
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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