Synthesis and characterization of tapered copolymer brushes via surface-initiated atom transfer radical copolymerization. Academic Article uri icon


  • Tapered copolymer brushes of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) were synthesized via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) by gradual addition of HEMA to a reaction mixture that originally only had MMA as monomer. The copolymer brush grew linearly with polymerization time. The tapered copolymer brushes responded to selective solvent treatments. For the same tapered copolymer brush, pretreating the surface with methylene chloride made the surface more hydrophobic; pretreating the surface with methanol increased the surface hydrophilicity. This change in surface properties was reversible and considered to be caused by the solvent induced rearrangement of the polymer brushes, which is supported by atomic force microscopy images of the surface. Our work demonstrates that the properties of the tapered copolymer brush could be finely tuned by careful control of the composition profile.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, C., Wu, T., Mei, Y., Drain, C. M., Batteas, J. D., & Beers, K. L.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Chang||Wu, Tao||Mei, Ying||Drain, Charles Michael||Batteas, James D||Beers, Kathryn L

publication date

  • November 2005