This article describes a general synthetic route to laterally distinctive multicomponent polymer brushes on gold. The procedure involves repeated surface patterning using microcontact printing (μCP) of initiator-terminated thiols without backfilling with inert thiols and surface-initiated atomic transfer radical polymerization steps. In between brush growth, the remaining initiator moieties are deactivated to avoid reinitiation on existing brushes. Optical and fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy have been used to characterize every step of this procedure. We found that brushes can be grown from initiator-modified surfaces that contain bare gold areas and that these areas remain available for further patterning using μCP. To demonstrate the flexibility of this approach, surfaces containing four different polymer brushes in patterns ranging from 2 × 4 μm lines to 20 × 20 μm squares were fabricated. The range of chemical functionalities incorporated includes cationic and anionic polyelectrolytes, as well as thermally responsive polymers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry