• poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate);
  • polymer brushes;
  • ATRP;
  • grafted from;
  • X-ray reflectivity;
  • ellipsometry


Progress in making pH-responsive polyelectrolyte brushes with a range of different grafting densities is reported. Polymer brushes of poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) were synthesised via atom transfer radical polymerisation on silicon wafers using a ‘grafted from’ approach. The [11-(2-bromo-2-methyl) propionyloxy]undecyl trichlorosilane initiator was covalently attached to the silicon via silylation, from which the brushes were grown using a catalytic system of copper(I) chloride and pentamethyldiethylenetriamine in tetrahydrofuran at 80 °C. X-ray reflectivity was used to assess the initiator surfaces and an upper limit on the grafting density of the polymer was determined. The quality of the brushes produced was analysed using ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy, which is also discussed. Copyright © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry