University CrestSurface Polymerisations via ATRPArmes Research Group
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Designed by Peter Iddon
Maintained by Matt Rymaruk
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  4 September 2005

It is well known that most surfaces carry an anionic surface charge. Recently we designed new cationic statistical copolymers containing pendent bromoester groups that can adsorb strongly and irreversibly via electrostatic attraction onto anionic surfaces. These polyelectrolytic macro-initiators allow surface polymerisations to be carried out via ATRP in aqueous solution at ambient temperature. This new approach is simple, fairly ubiquitous and does not require any surface derivatisation (e.g. siloxane or thiol pre-treatment). It has been demonstrated to work well for ultrafine silica and tin(IV) oxide sols [X. Y. Chen and co-workers, Adv. Mater., 2003 and Langmuir, 2004] and we are now collaborating with Prof. J. Klein and Dr. R. K. Thomas at U. Oxford to exploit this approach for the preparation of biocompatible polymer brushes on planar surfaces. More recently, the corresponding anionic macro-initiators have also been designed for the functionalisation of cationic surfaces. Future work will involve surface force measurements to examine the possibility of so-called 'superlubricious' polymer brushes and also surface-patterning will be attempted.

Selected Publications
"Effect of brush thickness and solvent composition on the friction force response of poly(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl phosphorylcholine) brushes"
Z. Zhang, A. J. Morse, S. P. Armes, A. L. Lewis, M. Geoghegan and G. J. Leggett
Langmuir 2011, 27, 2514
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"Robust, biomimetic polymer brush layers grown directly from a planar mica surface"
M. Cheng, W. H. Briscoe, S. P. Armes, H. Cohen, J. Klein
ChemPhysChem 2007, 8, 1303
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"Surface ATRP of Hydrophilic Monomers from Ultrafine Aqueous Silica Sols Using Anionic Polyelectrolytic Macroinitiators"
C. D. Vo, A. Schmid, S. P. Armes., K. Sakai, S. Biggs
Langmuir 2007, 23, 408
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"Surface polymerization from planar surfaces by atom transfer radical polymerisation using polyelectrolytic macroinitiators"
S. Edmondson, C. D. Vo, S. P. Armes, G.-F. Unali
Macromolecules 2007, 40, 5271
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"Controlled growth of poly (2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) brushes via atom transfer radical polymerisation on planar silicon surfaces"
P. D. Topham, J. R. Howse, C. J. Crook 1, A. J. Parnell, M. Geoghegan, R. A. L. Jones, A. J. Ryan
Polymer International 2006, 55, 808
"Synthesis of hydrophilic polymer-grafted ultrafine inorganic oxide particles in protic media at ambient temperature via atom transfer radical polymerization: use of an electrostatically adsorbed polyelectrolytic macroinitiator"
X. Y. Chen, S. P. Armes, S. J. Greaves, J. F. Watts
Langmuir 2004, 3, 587
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"Surface polymerization of hydrophilic methacrylates from ultrafine silica sols in protic media at ambient temperature: a novel approach to surface functionalization using a polyelectrolytic macro-initiator"
X. Y. Chen and S. P. Armes
Advanced Materials 2003, 15, 1558
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