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Keywords:

  • atomic force microscopy;
  • living polymerization;
  • RAFT mediated polymerization;
  • self assembly;
  • temperature-responsive polymer brushes

Abstract

Well-defined, high-density poly(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate) [poly(MEO2MA)] brushes were fabricated through a reliable strategy by the combination of self-assembly of a monolayer of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxy silane on silicon surface to immobilize 4-cyano-4-(dodecylsulfanylthiocarbonyl)sulfanyl pentanoic acid chain transfer agent and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer-mediated polymerization of MEO2MA. The whole fabrication process of the poly(MEO2MA) brushes was followed by water contact angle, grazing angle-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Characterization of the poly(MEO2MA) brushes, such as molecular weight and thickness determination, were measured by gel permeation chromatography and ellipsometry, and the grafting density was estimated. The temperature-responsive property of the poly(MEO2MA) brushes was further investigated and the result verified the brush-to-mushroom phase transition of the poly(MEO2MA) chains from low to high temperature. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013