Morphology tuning in the formation of vaterite crystal thin films with thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brush matrices†
The use of a thermoresponsive polymer brush matrix resulted in the formation and morphology tuning of CaCO3 crystal thin films. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) brushes with thickness of approximately 500 nm were synthesized and employed as crystallization templates for CaCO3. The PNIPAm brush matrix induced the formation of vaterite thin films in the presence of poly(acrylic acid). Moreover, crystallization of CaCO3 at temperatures above and below the lower critical solution temperature of the PNIPAm brush matrices led to the preparation of vaterite films with distinctly different crystallographic orientations. The approach of using a stimuli-responsive polymer brush matrix may provide a novel way for the development of hybrid coating materials.