Micromolding Surface-Initiated Polymerization: A Versatile Route for Microscale Replication Onto a Solid Support

Thursday, October 20, 2011: 2:10 PM
L100 A (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Carlos A. Escobar, Juan C. Tuberquia, Nabijan Nizamidin and G. Kane Jennings, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

This presentation will introduce the use of confined surface-initiated ring-opening metathesis polymerization (SI-ROMP) of perfluoroalkyl or alkyl norbornene monomers from solid substrates to synthesize surface-bound polymer structures with tunable physical and chemical properties that accurately replicate those exhibited by Nature’s engineered, microscopically rough, and highly functional surfaces.  This approach not only allows mimicking of highly evolved and functional surface architectures but also provides versatility in that it introduces a wide variety of chemical compositions available in materials chemistry, including partially fluorinated polymers with ultralow critical surface tensions.  Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy confirm growth of the polymer structures and the precise replication of the microscale and nanoscale features exhibited by the target natural surface with the added freedom to expand beyond Nature’s chemical building blocks.  Contact angle measurements show that the surface architectures exhibit both hydrophobic and oleophobic behavior, and in some cases, superhydrophobic properties.  This approach is not limited to natural surfaces and could be applied in a straightforward manner to a variety of synthetic surfaces that have microscale features.  

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