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Issue 22, 2018
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Robust polymer nanofilms with bioengineering and environmental applications via facile and highly efficient covalent layer-by-layer assembly

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Abstract

This work reports novel, robust, multifunctional covalent-bonded polymer nanofilms based on highly efficient spin-assisted layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly, with a wide range of engineering and bioengineering applications. An active-ester block copolymer, polypentafluorophenylacrylate-block-polystyrene (PPFPA-b-PS), and an amine-rich polymer, branched polyethyleneimine (PEI), were chosen as model polymers. The as-prepared nanofilms show switchable hydrophobicity with controllable thickness. Nanomechanical tests demonstrate that the surface adhesion between the PPFPA-b-PS and PEI layers facilitates excellent film stability under different solvent conditions. Robust and centimeter-scale freestanding nanofilms with good transparency and excellent flexibility could be readily obtained by peeling the films from their silicon substrates without using a sacrifice layer. More importantly, the multi-layer nanofilms containing free pentafluorophenol groups or amine groups can be readily functionalized further to tailor the properties of the films for various applications. As a proof of concept, a multi-layer nanofilm with free ester groups was modified with rhodamine-6G hydrazone and tested as a H+ sensor. The free amine groups in the polymer nanofilms show strong interactions with perfluorooctanoic acid for achieving high surface hydrophobicity. The polymer nanofilms also show exceptional tunable cell-attachment behavior by switching the outmost layer between PPFPA-b-PS and PEI, demonstrating great potential for biomedical applications.

Graphical abstract: Robust polymer nanofilms with bioengineering and environmental applications via facile and highly efficient covalent layer-by-layer assembly

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Mar 2018, accepted on 10 May 2018 and first published on 11 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TB00603B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018,6, 3742-3750
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    Robust polymer nanofilms with bioengineering and environmental applications via facile and highly efficient covalent layer-by-layer assembly

    J. Huang, X. Qiu, B. Yan, L. Xie, J. Yang, H. Xu, Y. Deng, L. Chen, X. Wang and H. Zeng, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, 6, 3742
    DOI: 10.1039/C8TB00603B

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