Polymer brushes can be defined as long-chain macromolecules that are attached to the end of certain substrates by chemical bonds. The modification of surfaces with polymer brushes is now widely used to tailor surface properties such as hydrophilicity, biocompatibility and corrosion.
In my research, I make homogeneous and gradient samples on silicon wafer surfaces and grow monolayer assemblies and polymer brushes on that substrate?then try to modify the brushes with various functional groups such as amines?zwitterions and electrolytes. After making good brushes, I use ellipsometry, water contact angle machine and GPC to characterize the surface thickness, hydrophilicity and molecular weight of the polymer chains on the samples. In addition, I’ll test the stability of polymer brushes samples in solutions under different pH and ionic strength conditions, also in the environment of marine water, try to find out how different parameters influence polymer chain tension, and to see whether the polymer brushes system is suitable for anti-fouling coatings.