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Advances in Generation of Environmentally Responsive Surfaces pp.179-202 $100.00
Authors:  (Vikas Mittal, Institute of Chemical and Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
Ability to change the properties of the surfaces owing to changes in stimulus like
temperature, salt concentration, pH etc. leads to the application of these surfaces in a
number of specialty applications. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAM) is one such
polymer which is well known for its environmentally responsive characteristics which
apart from being fast changing with stimulus are also very reversible. As an example,
surfaces treated with PNIPAAM become totally hydrophobic if the temperature is raised
above the lower critical solution temperature of ~32C, whereas the same surfaces
instantaneously become hydrophilic as soon as the temperature is decreased to 25C or
lower. A number of different substrates have been used to modify them with PNIPAAM
and a number of techniques have also been used to graft polymer chains on he surfaces.
Flat surfaces of glass, silicon or gold wafers have been used as planar surfaces to generate
these characteristics. Various pre-modifications led to the generation of reactive groups
on the surfaces which were subsequently reacted with NIPAAM monomer to generate
PNIPAAM chains grated to the surface. Among the various techniques used for this
purpose included atom transfer radical polymerization, electron beam polymerization,
amidation reaction of the surfaces etc. The generated brushes were observed to be
responsive to various stimuli indicating that the characteristic of pure PNIPAAM chains
could also be transferred on the surfaces of these substrates, though lower critical solution
temperature (LCST) of PNIPAAM chains was observed to change by a few degrees in
some cases after immobilization on the surfaces. It was also observed that the roughness
of the surface on which the PNIPAAM chains were grafted played an important role in
the environmental responsiveness of the surfaces as the extent of this behavior was
reported to significantly enhance on the rougher surfaces. Spherical substrates like glass
beads, silica beads and polymer nanoparticles were also functionalized by PNIPAAM
owing to their commercial potential in a number of applications especially in
chromatographic separation columns. Similarly various techniques of free radical
copolymerization, controlled free radical polymerizations like ATRP and reversible
addition fragmentation chain transfer etc and simple amidation or other chemical
reactions to graft PNIPAAM chains from the surfaces of particles. Apart from that,
monoliths or crosslinked porous networks made from the polymer latex particles could
also be successfully functionalized with PNIPAAM and were reported to be very
effective in the temperature controlled separation of biological entities thus totally
avoiding the use of harsh separation conditions of high salt concentration or pH which
can sometimes deteriorate the qualities of biological media. These substrates, both planar
and spherical, with environmentally response characteristics represent very high potential
materials with a wide range of very special applications. 

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Advances in Generation of Environmentally Responsive Surfaces pp.179-202