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Special Issue "Advances in Polymer Brushes"

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A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. William J. Brittain

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 512 245 2374
Interests: surface-immobilized polymers and reactive groups; photoisomerization; organic-inorganic hybrids

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is generally recognized that a polymer brush corresponds to an array of macromolecular chains attached to a surface and in sufficient proximity so that the unperturbed solution dimensions (in a good solvent) of the chains are altered. Furthermore, this close proximity causes overlap of adjacent chains and thus significantly alters the conformational dimensions of individual polymer chains. Examples of distinctly different properties include (1) interfacial localization of terminal groups; (2) diffusion control; (3) regulation of steric repulsive forces; (4) control of phase-segregation in response to external stimuli; (5) wetting control; (6) control of protein and cell adsorption; (7) adsorption of molecules; (8) lubrication; and (9) flocculation control.

Polymer brushes were first described in the 1950s. In the last 1–2 decades, there has been a dramatic increase in publications and most macromolecular and/or surface journals now routinely contain articles on polymer brushes. The purpose of this issue is to assess the current state of field, define scope, application and future directions.

Prof. Dr. William J. Brittain
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • polymer brushes
  • surface reactions
  • living radical polymerization
  • smart surfaces

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Block Co-Polymers for Nanolithography: Rapid Microwave Annealing for Pattern Formation on Substrates
Polymers 2015, 7(4), 592-609; doi:10.3390/polym7040592
Received: 9 December 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (13674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The integration of block copolymer (BCP) self-assembled nanopattern formation as an alternative lithographic tool for nanoelectronic device fabrication faces a number of challenges such as defect densities, feature size, pattern transfer, etc. Key barriers are the nanopattern process times and pattern formation on
[...] Read more.
The integration of block copolymer (BCP) self-assembled nanopattern formation as an alternative lithographic tool for nanoelectronic device fabrication faces a number of challenges such as defect densities, feature size, pattern transfer, etc. Key barriers are the nanopattern process times and pattern formation on current substrate stack layers such as hard masks (e.g., silicon nitride, Si3N4). We report a rapid microwave assisted solvothermal (in toluene environments) self-assembly and directed self-assembly of a polystyrene-block-polydimethylsiloxane (PS-b-PDMS) BCP thin films on planar and topographically patterned Si3N4 substrates. Hexagonally arranged, cylindrical structures were obtained and good pattern ordering was achieved. Factors affecting BCP self-assembly, notably anneal time and temperature, were studied and seen to have significant effects. Graphoepitaxy within the topographical structures provided long range, translational alignment of the patterns. The effect of surface topography feature size and spacing was investigated. The solvothermal microwave based technique used to provide periodic order in the BCP patterns showed significant promise and ordering was achieved in much shorter periods than more conventional thermal and solvent annealing methods. The implications of the work in terms of manufacturing technologies are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymer Brushes)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview From Self-Assembled Monolayers to Coatings: Advances in the Synthesis and Nanobio Applications of Polymer Brushes
Polymers 2015, 7(7), 1346-1378; doi:10.3390/polym7071346
Received: 12 June 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 20 July 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we describe the latest advances in synthesis, characterization, and applications of polymer brushes. Synthetic advances towards well-defined polymer brushes, which meet criteria such as: (i) Efficient and fast grafting, (ii) Applicability on a wide range of substrates; and (iii) Precise
[...] Read more.
In this review, we describe the latest advances in synthesis, characterization, and applications of polymer brushes. Synthetic advances towards well-defined polymer brushes, which meet criteria such as: (i) Efficient and fast grafting, (ii) Applicability on a wide range of substrates; and (iii) Precise control of surface initiator concentration and hence, chain density are discussed. On the characterization end advances in methods for the determination of relevant physical parameters such as surface initiator concentration and grafting density are discussed. The impact of these advances specifically in emerging fields of nano- and bio-technology where interfacial properties such as surface energies are controlled to create nanopatterned polymer brushes and their implications in mediating with biological systems is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymer Brushes)
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Open AccessReview Non-Stoichiometric Polymer-Cyclodextrin Inclusion Compounds: Constraints Placed on Un-Included Chain Portions Tethered at Both Ends and Their Relation to Polymer Brushes
Polymers 2014, 6(8), 2166-2185; doi:10.3390/polym6082166
Received: 16 May 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When non-covalently bonded crystalline inclusion compounds (ICs) are formed by threading the host cyclic starches, cyclodextrins (CDs), onto guest polymer chains, and excess polymer is employed, non-stoichiometric (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs, with partially uncovered and “dangling” chains result. The crystalline host CD lattice is stable to
[...] Read more.
When non-covalently bonded crystalline inclusion compounds (ICs) are formed by threading the host cyclic starches, cyclodextrins (CDs), onto guest polymer chains, and excess polymer is employed, non-stoichiometric (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs, with partially uncovered and “dangling” chains result. The crystalline host CD lattice is stable to ~300 °C, and the uncovered, yet constrained, portions of the guest chains emanating from the CD-IC crystal surfaces behave very distinctly from their neat bulk samples. In CD-IC crystals formed with α- and γ-CD hosts, each containing, respectively, six and eight 1,4-α-linked glucose units, the channels constraining the threaded portions of the guest polymer chains are ~0.5 and 1.0 nm in diameter and are separated by ~1.4 and 1.7 nm. This results in dense brushes with ~0.6 and 0.4 chains/nm2 (or 0.8 if two guest chains are included in each γ-CD channel) of the un-included portions of guest polymers emanating from the host CD-IC crystal surfaces. In addition, at least some of the guest chains leaving from a crystalline CD-IC surface re-enter another CD-IC crystal creating a network structure that leads to shape-memory behavior for (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs. To some extent, (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs can be considered as dense polymer brushes with chains that are tethered on both ends. Not surprisingly, the behavior of the un-included portions of the guest polymer chains in (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs are quite different from those of their neat bulk samples, with higher glass-transition and melt crystallization temperatures and crystallinities. Here we additionally compare their behaviors to samples coalesced from their stoichiometric ICs, and more importantly to dense polymer brushes formed by polymer chains chemically bonded to surfaces at only one end. Judging on the basis of their glass-transition, crystallization and melting temperatures, and crystallinities, we generally find the un-included portions of chains in (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs to be more constrained than those in neat bulk as-received and coalesced samples and in high density brushes. The last observation is likely because many of the un-included chain portions in (n-s)-polymer-CD-ICs are tethered/constrained at both ends, while the chains in their dense brushes are tethered at only one end. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymer Brushes)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type: Review
Title:
Electroactive Graft Copolymer Brushes: A versatile route to functional surfaces
Authors:
Lisa T. Strover, Jenny Malmström, Jadranka Travas-Sedjic *
Abstract:
In this review article we discuss recent developments in the design and synthesis of electrochemically-active surfaces produced by grafting polymer brushes from conducting polymers. These materials are readily produced using surface-initiated controlled radical polymerisation methods such as RAFT and ATRP, utilising a conducting polymer backbone that is functionalised with an appropriate chain transfer agent or initiator moiety. Alternatively, conducting polymer-based graft copolymers can be synthesised in solution and subsequently deposited on an appropriate substrate. These techniques are highly adaptable and provide excellent control over composition and architecture of the resulting graft copolymer brush. Wide ranging potential applications include stimuli-responsive surfaces, photovoltaics, sensors, electro-optical materials, semi-conductor devices, micro/nanofluidics and tissue engineering.
Keywords:
Conducting polymer, polymer brush, electroactivity, RAFT, ATRP.

jadranka-travas-sedjic

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