Controlled grafting of polymer brushes on poly(vinylidene fluoride) films by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization



Controlled grafting of well-defined polymer brushes on the poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) films was carried out by the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). Surface-initiators were immobilized on the PVDF films by surface hydroxylation and esterification of the hydroxyl groups covalently linked to the surface with 2-bromoisobutyrate bromide. Homopolymer brushes of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and poly(ethylene glycol) monomethacrylate (PEGMA) were prepared by ATRP from the α-bromoester-functionalized PVDF surface. The chemical composition of the graft-functionalized PVDF surfaces was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and attenuated total reflectance (ATR)–FTIR spectroscopy. Kinetics study revealed a linear increase in the graft concentration of PMMA and PEGMA with the reaction time, indicating that the chain growth from the surface was consistent with a “controlled” or “living” process. The “living” chain ends were used as the macroinitiator for the synthesis of diblock copolymer brushes. Water contact angles on PVDF films were reduced by surface grafting of PEGMA and MMA. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 101: 3704–3712, 2006