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Effect of Grafted Polymer Species on Particle Monolayer Structure at the Air–Water Interface

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We have studied poly(methyl methacrylate)-grafted(PMMA) particle monolayer systems at the air–water interface. In previous papers, we reported that PMMA chains grafted from particles (silica particle and polystyrene latex) were extended on water surfaces. Through observing deposited particle monolayers on substrates using SEM, we have confirmed that PMMA of large molecular weights were either dispersed or arrayed in structure with long inter-particle distances ∼500 nm. In contrast, low molecular weight PMMA were observed to aggregate upon deposition. We speculated that the difference in morphology in deposited particle monolayers would be attributed to the affinity between the grafted polymer and the substrate. To examine the effect of this affinity three new polymer-grafted silica particles were synthesized with a fairly high graft density of about 0.14∼0.43 nm−2. As well as PMMA-grafted silica particles (SiO2-PMMA), poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) and poly(t-butyl methacrylate)—grafted silica particles (SiO2-PHEMA and SiO2-PtBuMA) were also prepared and subjected to -A isotherm measurements and SEM observations. These -A isotherms indicated that polymer-grafted silica formed monolayer at the air–water interface, and the onset area of increasing surface pressure suggests that the polymer chains are extended on a water surface. However, the morphology of the deposited monolayer is highly dependent on polymer species: SiO2-PHEMA showed that the dispersed particle monolayer structure was independent of grafted molecular weight while SiO2-tBuMA showed an aggregated structure that was also independent of grafted moleculer weight. SiO2-PMMA showed intermediate tendencies: dispersed structure was observed with high grafted molecular weight and aggregated structure was observed with low grafted molecule weight. The morphology on glass substrate would be explaiened by hydrophilic interaction between grafted polymer and hydrophilic glass substrate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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