Industrial Application of Polymer Brush NanoCoatings

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

This PhD thesis presents the development of a new industrial relevant surface-initiated polymerization for the formation of nanoscale polymer brush layers. The developed polymerization is a version/branch of the polymerization technique single-electron transfer living radical polymerization (SET-LRP). The polymerization has highly sought-after features like on-demand activation and high oxygen tolerance. The features of the polymerization presented makes it one of the first surface-initiated polymerizations relevant for industrial use. Secondly, the thesis also contains the development of novel polymer brushbased adhesion layer for poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). The polymer brush adhesion layer contains incorporated reactive groups able to form covalent bonds to the PDMS thus obtaining adhesion. Chapter 1 gives a broad introduction to organic surface chemistry, introduces polymer brushes, the effect of polymer brush films, their overall synthesis, and the patented RadiSurf adhesion technology. Finally, the chemical aspects of why polymer brush coatings have not reached the industry yet is presented. Chapter 2 offers an in-depth presentation of free radical polymerization and the two controlled radical polymerization techniques atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and SET-LRP. Secondly, the associated scientific controversy between the two techniques are presented and discussed. Chapter 3 introduces the scientific literature that led to the idea and development of the industrial version of SET-LRP. The overall concept and the expected polymerization mechanism are introduced. Chapter 4 discusses the semi-unknown catalyst used within the developed industrial version of SET-LRP. Further, the industrial relevant production of the catalyst and concentration determination are presented. Lastly, the chapter shows results from an initial chemical analysis of the catalyst to determine its nature and what it is. Chapter 5 includes the main portion of the results of this thesis. The chapter covers all the results obtained with the developed industrial version of SET-LRP, which mostly has been conducted with the monomer glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), yielding the polymer brush poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA). Especially the effect of the catalyst concentration and oxygen concentration on the polymerization kinetics is investigated. The ability to make block polymer brushes with the polymerization technique is shown both for a PGMA-PGMA homo- and a PGMA-poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) co-block polymer brush. The industrialization ability is further investigated by producing PGMA polymer brushes on large 100×100 mm samples and trying to take the polymerization to a more industrial process, like paint- and spray-on. The industrial economical aspects of the development of such a polymerization are discussed to show a clear path towards a price relevant industrial process. Lastly a guide for optimizing and incorporating the polymerization for various monomers systems and substrates is given. Chapter 6 shows an application of polymer brushes, as nanoscale adhesion layers for polymers/plastic. The study shows the development of a novel polymer brush that can facilitate adhesion to PDMS polymer by the use of reactive hydrosilane groups. The adhesion mechanism is elucidated in a comparative molecular structure study in combination with adhesive tensile testing for performance evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherAarhus Universitet
Number of pages165
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020

Note re. dissertation

Wed11Dec<br/>Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 140, 8000 Aarhus C<br/>PhD Defence: Industrial Application of Polymer Brush Nano-Coatings<br/>PhD Student Stefan Urth Nielsen, iNANO<br/>Grad tildelt 3. januar 2020<br/>

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