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Title: Functional polymer brushes
Author: Edmondson, S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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Controlled, surface-initiated growth of poly (glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) polymer brushes and PGMA/poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) copolymer brushes at room temperature by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is demonstrated from silicon surfaces using a trichlorosilane-functional initiator. A methanol-water mix was used as the solvent and the polymerization was controlled by using a mix of CuCl and CuBr2 with 2,2’-dipyridyl (bpy) as the ligand. These polymer films are analysed by ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR). The synthesis of PGMA and PGMA/PMMA copolymers in solution by ATRP is also demonstrated using a similar system, and these polymers are analysed by NMR and FTIR and the reactivity ratios determined. The ring-opening of PGMA brush epoxides groups by octylamine from solution, resulting in thickening and cross-linking of the polymer film, is studied. Nucleophilic ring-opening of PGMA is used as the basis of a novel adhesive system in which the brush film is reacted with a nucleophilic oxidized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer surface, forming an adhesive bond with a well-defined all-covalent link between the surfaces. Using PGMA/PMMA random copolymer brushes in this system allows a bond with atunable failure stress to be fabricated by varying the monomer ratio. By introducing UV-cleavable functionality into a surface initiating group on gold, possible routes towards an adhesive bond that can be weakened by the application of UV light are explored. By patterning thiol-functional ATRP initiators onto gold surfaces using microcontact printing and growing PGMA brushes only in these defined regions, “quasi-2D” polymers (objects with lateral dimensions much greater than the thickness) are fabricated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available