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Issue 47, 2015
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Wafer-scale synthesis of defined polymer brushes under ambient conditions

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Abstract

A method is presented that allows for the first time the preparation of highly defined polymer brush coatings on the wafer-scale under ambient conditions (room temperature, exposure to air) from a broad variety of monomers. The discovered high oxygen-tolerance of the surface-initiated Cu(0)-mediated controlled radical polymerization (SI-CuCRP) yields entire wafers homogeneously covered by a polymer brush of linear, high molar mass polymers with narrow dispersities (Đ = 1.1) at extremely high grafting densities (≈1 chain per nm2). The low-tech and air tolerant method requires only ≲4 mL reaction solution containing a monomer and a ligand between two facing substrates. Thus, the SI-CuCRP is scalable to any surface area with minimal costs and minimal equipment. Despite the simplicity of the method, the high endgroup fidelity of SI-CuCRP is demonstrated by the preparation of a tetrablock copolymer brush which is the first example of a higher order block copolymer brush prepared by any surface-initiated polymerization. Finally, we present a new facile lithographic technique, the copper plate proximity printing (CP3), which relies on the proximity of the bulk copper surface to the initiator-bearing substrate. The CP3 is resist- and development-free and transfers the copper plate profile (of a copper coin) directly into an image composed of a 3D polymer brush.

Graphical abstract: Wafer-scale synthesis of defined polymer brushes under ambient conditions

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Aug 2015
Accepted
17 Sep 2015
First published
21 Sep 2015

This article is Open Access

Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 8176-8183
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Wafer-scale synthesis of defined polymer brushes under ambient conditions

T. Zhang, Y. Du, J. Kalbacova, R. Schubel, R. D. Rodriguez, T. Chen, D. R. T. Zahn and R. Jordan, Polym. Chem., 2015, 6, 8176
DOI: 10.1039/C5PY01274K

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