Hyperbranched fluoropolymers (HBFPs), based on benzyl ether linkages and having a large number of pentafluorophenyl chain ends, were crosslinked by a reaction with diamino-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) or diamino-terminated poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) to form hyperbranched–linear copolymer networks of different compositions, structures, and properties. The crosslinking reactions involved the nucleophilic aromatic substitution of the pentafluorophenyl para-fluorines of HBFP by the amine functionalities of the respective telechelic linear segments. The contact angles, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, tensile measurements, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the resulting network film samples. The surface wettability of the crosslinked materials was affected by the nature and amount of the linear polymer crosslinking agent employed. Amphiphilic polymer networks were formed by the incorporation of diamino-terminated PEG as a crosslinker, whereas diamino-terminated PDMS produced polymer networks of a hydrophobic character. The mechanical properties improved upon crosslinking, as measured by tensile testing. The mechanical integrity of the films was also found to improve upon crosslinking, as measured by AFM machining protocols. The AFM images revealed topographical morphologies that appeared to be the result of phase segregation of HBFP from PEG or PDMS; the dimensions of the phase-segregated domains were dependent on the stoichiometry of HBFP to the linear polymer and the thickness of the coating. As the content of PEG increased, fouling by human fibrinogen, used as a model protein, decreased. Further studies are in progress to determine the effects of the surface composition, morphology, and topography on the biofouling characteristics. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 41: 3531–3540, 2003
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