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Keywords:

  • photochemistry;
  • cellulose;
  • grafting;
  • surface patterning;
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Abstract

The nitrile imine-mediated tetrazole-ene cycloaddition reaction (NITEC) is introduced as a powerful and versatile conjugation tool to covalently ligate macromolecules onto variable (bio)surfaces. The NITEC approach is initiated by UV irradiation and proceeds rapidly at ambient temperature yielding a highly fluorescent linkage. Initially, the formation of block copolymers by the NITEC methodology is studied to evidence its efficacy as a macromolecular conjugation tool. The grafting of polymers onto inorganic (silicon) and bioorganic (cellulose) surfaces is subsequently carried out employing the optimized reaction conditions obtained from the macromolecular ligation experiments and evidenced by surface characterization techniques, including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and FT-IR microscopy. In addition, the patterned immobilization of variable polymer chains onto profluorescent cellulose is achieved through a simple masking process during the irradiation.