Direct Measurement of Molecular Weight and Grafting Density by Controlled and Quantitative Degrafting of Surface-Anchored Poly (Methyl Methacrylate)
ACS Macro Letters
We report on quantitative determination of the molecular weight distribution (MWD) and grafting density (σP) of polymer assemblies grown by controlled radical polymerization from flat substrates as a function of polymerization time and the ratio between the inhibitor and catalyst species. Specifically, we grow poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) brushes on flat silica-based surfaces by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP), cleave the PMMA grafts quantitatively using tetrabutyl ammonium fluoride (TBAF), and analyze their MWD by size exclusion chromatography equipped with a high-sensitivity differential refractive index detector. The polymer growth and degrafting processes are followed by ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry. The σP is independent of polymerization time and increases with increasing SI-ATRP inhibitor/catalyst ratio. Specifically, σP increases from 0.48 ± 0.06 to 0.58 ± 0.06 chains/nm2 as the inhibitor/catalyst molar ratio increases from 0 to 0.015, respectively, providing evidence that high inhibitor/catalyst ratio offers better control of the SI-ATRP reaction, by lowering number of terminations, and leading to denser PMMA brush assemblies.
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
Turgman Cohen, Salomon; Patil, Rohan R.; Srogl, Jiri; Kiserow, Douglas; and Genzer, Jan, "Direct Measurement of Molecular Weight and Grafting Density by Controlled and Quantitative Degrafting of Surface-Anchored Poly (Methyl Methacrylate)" (2015). Chemical Engineering Publications. 22.