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Chemistry, lithography and characterisation of polymer brush interfaces

Chapman, Paul Michael (2016) Chemistry, lithography and characterisation of polymer brush interfaces. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the fabrication of heterogeneous polymer brush surfaces and the characterisation of the interfaces present within a polymer brush. A methodology was developed to enable modification of the bromide chain ends to form amine groups on polymer brushes prepared by a grafting-from technique. The chemistry was tested by proof of concept reactions carried out on silane films and on brush surfaces. The chain end modification and photocleavable functional groups were incorporated into methodologies developed for the formation of multiple polymer brush surfaces. Two routes were demonstrated, one using a photocleavable silane film and the second using the attachment of photocleavable functional groups to the amine modified brush chain ends. The formation of heterogeneous brush surfaces through selective deprotection and multiple polymer growth has shown the ability to control the surface chemistry with the potential for bespoke pattern formation by light directed lithography. Despite being able to conduct chemistry and lithography at the chain ends of polymer brushes, the depth profile of polymer brushes has been mainly considered through classical definitions. To investigate whether brush-liquid interfaces are well-defined, an AFM cantilever methodology was developed to measure the resonant behaviour using the thermal noise of the cantilever during a controlled approach-retract of the cantilever with a maximum applied force. Through sectioned analysis of the cantilever deflection, the depth profiling of fitting parameters for the observed resonances allowed identification of the interfaces present. By application of the Brownian fluctuation analysis during force spectroscopy on a variety of different polymer brush surfaces and a variety of environmental conditions, a range of behaviours was shown to exist for these different situations. The range of behaviours extended from an effectively solid interface at tip-brush contact to fluidic behaviour with no well defined interface found up to the maximum applied force.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Chemistry (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Physics and Astronomy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Paul Michael Chapman
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 08:26
Last Modified: 03 May 2016 08:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12504

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