2023 journal article

UV- and thermally-active small bi-functional gelator for creating gradient polymer network coatings


co-author countries: Japan 🇯🇵 United States of America 🇺🇸
MeSH headings : Azides / chemistry; Polymers / chemistry; Silicon / chemistry; Temperature; Ultraviolet Rays
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 13, 2023

We present a versatile one-pot synthesis method for creating surface-anchored orthogonal gradient networks using a small bi-functional gelator, 4-azidosulfonylphenethyltrimethoxysilane (4-ASPTMS). The sulfonyl azide (SAz) group of 4-ASPTMS is UV (≤254 nm) and thermally active (≥100 °C) and, thus, enables us to vary the cross-link density in orthogonal directions by controlling the activation of SAz groups via UV and temperature means. We deposit a thin layer (∼200 nm) of a mixture comprising ∼90% precursor polymer and ∼10% 4-ASPTMS in a silicon wafer. Upon UV irradiation or annealing the layers, SAz releases nitrogen by forming singlet and triplet nitrenes that concurrently react with any C-H bond in the vicinity leading to sulfonamide cross-links. Condensation among trimethoxy groups in the bulk connects 4-ASPTMS units and completes the cross-linking. Simultaneously, 4-ASPTMS near the substrate reacts with surface-bound -OH motifs that anchor the cross-linked polymer chains to the substrate. We demonstrate the generation of orthogonal gradient network coatings exhibiting cross-link density (or stiffness) gradients in orthogonal directions using such a simple process.