pH-Detachable polymer brushes formed using titanium-diol coordination chemistry and living radical polymerization (RAFT)

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Journal Article
Macromolecules, 2009, 42 (8), pp. 2931 - 2939
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pH-detachable poly(styrene) brushes formed on indium-tin oxide (ITO) glass substrates using metal complex chemistry and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization was described. These pH-detachable polymeric brushes were generated using both "graft-from" and "graft-to" methodologies. The methodologies involved either the surface self-assembly of catechol-functional RAFT agents (graft-from) or catechol-terminal polymer chains (graft-to) onto the ITO substrate via titanium-diol coordination. The stepwise functionalization of the ITO glass surfaces was characterized successfully using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurement. Poly(styrene) brushes generated using the "graft-from" method were denser than those generated using the "graft-to" method, as exemplified by atom force microscopy (AFM) and quantified using cyclic voltammetry. Poly(styrene) brushes assembled using both methods could be detached easily by manipulating the pH of the brush environment. Cyclic voltammetry was utilized to calculate precisely the surface coverage of the RAFT functionality and polymeric brush density. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
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