Creating block copolymers via surface-initiated ring-opening metathesis polymerization
Yamamoto, Kenneth Kenji
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A method for the formation of norbornene (Nb) and furan-maleic anhydride (FMA) homopolymers, as well as Nb-FMA and FMA-Nb block copolymers grafted from oxide surfaces was devised using surface-initiated ring-opening metathesis polymerization (SI-ROMP) from a 7-octenyltrichlorosilane (7-OCT) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with first generation Grubbs catalyst. Polymer film growth, as monitored by ellipsometry and visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), is strongly influenced by monomer structure and concentration, as well as reaction time and temperature. End-functionalization of growing polymer chains occurs through cross-metathesis vinyl containing moieties was demonstrated and confirmed using static water contact angle measurements. Other than introducing chemical functionality into polymeric coating through monomer design, end-functionalization of grafted polymer chains provides a route to tailor functionality into polymer coatings at lower concentrations and is another technique useful for altering surface energy and wettability.