Surface-initiated RAFT polymerization from vapor-based polymer coatings

  • chair:

    Venkidasubramonian, G. / Kratzer, D. / Trouillet, V. / Zydziak, N. / Franzreb, M. / Barner, L. / Lahann, J. (2018)


  • place:

    Polymer, 2018, 150, 26-34

  • Date: August 2018


Surface-initiated reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (SI-RAFT) polymerization was used to synthesize poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and poly[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl)ammoniumhydroxide (PMEDSAH) brushes grafted from reactive poly[p-xylylene] surfaces. The synthetic approach involved functionalization of substrates via chemical vapor deposition polymerization of an electron-deficient alkynyl-functionalized [2.2]paracyclophane derivative. An azide-functionalized RAFT agent was anchored to the resulting poly[(p-xylylene-4-methyl propiolate)-co-p-xylylene] films via copper-free click-chemistry. Subsequent SI-RAFT polymerization yielded PMMA and PMEDSAH films with narrow dispersity which was further tuned by varying the concentration of a sacrificial RAFT agent in solution. Polymer dispersity was determined by size exclusion chromatography to be in the range of 1.2–1.4 for both polymers. This work provides a novel surface modification strategy to decorate a wide range of different substrates with polymer brushes, thereby eliminating the need for cumbersome modification protocols, which so far had to be established for each substrate material independently.