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Title: Multi-component stimuli-responsive polymer brushes grafted from flat surfaces
Author: Cresswell, Philip Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Grafting polymer brushes from surfaces is an effective method of surface modification. Importantly, such coatings are robust due to covalent bonding, establishing a chemically and mechanically stable interface not relying solely on weak physical bonding (e . g. van del' Waals forces) as alternative coating methods do. Polymer brushes have been shown to mediate effective lubrication, among other applications. In this work, stainless steel is the substrate of interest and a novel system of reagents specifically designed for this material has been applied to produce various polymer brush structures by surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerisation (SI-ATRP). For friction reduction in an aqueous environment, a multi-component hierarchical brush system, incorporating an underlying hydrophobic layer and a hydrophilic block on the outer periphery was proposed. The first layer of brushes, closest to the metals surface, was exploited as a barrier to drive water away from the solid interface, hence minimising corrosion of the metal, with the facile wetting of the second block giving a hydration layer at the interface to promote lubrication in the presence of water. Additionally, the hydrocarbon brush chosen as the outer layer in this system is known to be thermoresponsive, as chains collapse and become more hydrophobic at elevated temperatures. A co-polymer structure was employed and allowed the critical temperature of the brush to be tuned over a range of temperatures. This tuneable thermal response was intended to give switchable surface friction. Furthermore, use of an industrially relevant material in these investigations should potentially lead to a more straightforward utilisation in real world applications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available