Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have achieved surface treatment of patterned polymers on a microscopic scale, and are endowed with a series of waterproof and antibacterial functions. This article will tell you the detailed process.
At the University of California, Santa Barbara, materials researchers are looking for better concepts and methods to improve the surface treatment of microscopic chemical patterns, which not only can reduce production time and cost, but also add versatility to their designs . They described this method in a paper called "Continuous Interception Patterning." In the article, materials scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara described a new platform using polymer brushes to achieve functionality and design.
This is really a powerful way to achieve a specific purpose, said Christian Pester, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also the first author of this paper, and the research results were published in the journal Advanced Materials.
If you look closely at these surfaces, you will see that they are not flat and empty, but are connected to the surface from one end by infinitely slender polymer molecules. These polymer surfaces have many functions, such as waterproofing, preventing bacterial invasion, etc. Therefore, the patterned polymer brush makes a combination of many functions.
Pester said that using the "continuous flow patterning" method, the intermediate steps can be eliminated. This is also more chemically cleaned because you are not applying it repeatedly, which also means you can remove the cleaning step.
In order to accomplish this "feat", the matrix molecules were attached to the interception chamber, and then the solution came out: light radiation can start the reaction. A separate reticle (essentially a mold) placed on top of the chamber only allows some to grow by light. Because neither the surface nor the substrate has been moved, only molecules exposed to light grow and are functionalized. These steps are repeated in varying reactants, with the light source, substrate location or reticle creating a patterned polymer brush in a continuous process.
This technology has opened the door for the development of versatility for patterned polymers with an industrial focus. Pester thinks the really cool thing about this project and the highlight of the University of California, Santa Barbara lies in cooperation. This article was written by Kaila Mattson, Benjaporn Narupai, Emre Discekici of the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara.