A facile one-step polymerization strategy is explored to achieve novel catechol-based materials. Depending on the functionality of the catechol, the as-prepared product can be used to modify at will the surface tension of nano and bulk structures, from oleo-/hydrophobic to highly hydrophilic. A hydrophobic catechol prepared thus polymerized shows the ability to self-assemble as solid nanoparticles with sticky properties in polar solvent media. Such a versatile concept is ideal for the development of catechol-based multifunctional materials.
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