Polymer brushes on structural surfaces: a novel synergistic strategy for perfectly resisting algae settlement†
The current paper reports a novel model of a marine antibiofouling surface based on polymer brushes on a wrinkled silicone elastomer. Polymer brushes (POEGMA and PSPMA) were grafted via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). Successful grafting was verified with various characterization techniques including infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. A series of laboratory static and dynamic bioassays as well as field immersion tests were carried out to systematically investigate the relationship between surface chemistry, surface topography and antifouling properties. The results indicated that the adhesion of marine organisms was strongly influenced by the surface chemistry composition and surface topography structure. The synergistic effect of the surface chemistry, surface topography and bulk properties of the substrates endowed the new marine coatings with excellent antifouling properties.