Grafting Acrylic Polymers from Flat Nickel and Copper Surfaces by Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
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Acrylic polymers, including poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate), poly( N,N'-dimethyaminoethyl methacrylate), and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) were grafted from flat nickel and copper surfaces through surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). For the nickel system, there was a linear relationship between polymer layer thickness and monomer conversion or molecular weight of "free" polymers. The thickness of the polymer brush films was greater than 80 nm after 6 h of reaction time. The grafting density was estimated to be 0.40 chains/nm2. The "living" chain ends of grafted polymers were still active and initiated the growth of a second block of polymer. Block copolymer brushes with different block sequences were successfully prepared. The experimental surface chemical compositions as measured by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy agreed very well with their theoretical values. Water contact angle measurements further confirmed the successful grafting of polymers from nickel and copper surfaces. The surface morphologies of all samples were studied by atomic force microscopy. This study provided a novel approach to prepare stable functional polymer coatings on reactive metal surfaces.
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