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Keywords:

  • eATRP;
  • growth kinetics;
  • in situ AFM;
  • polymer brushes

Abstract

Electrochemically induced surface-initiated atom-transfer radical polymerization is traced by in situ AFM technology for the first time, which allows visualization of the polymer growth process. It affords a fundamental insight into the surface morphology and growth mechanism simultaneously. Using this technique, the polymerization kinetics of two model monomers were studied, namely the anionic 3-sulfopropyl methacrylate potassium salt (SPMA) and the cationic 2-(metharyloyloxy)ethyltrimethylammonium chloride (METAC). The growth of METAC is significantly improved by screening the ammonium cations by the addition of ionic liquid electrolyte in aqueous solution.