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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2003 Feb 28;100-102:205-65.

Tethered polymer chains: surface chemistry and their impact on colloidal and surface properties.

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  • 1Material Science Center, DSM Research, 6160 MD, Geleen, The Netherlands.


In this review the grafting of polymer chains to solid supports or interfaces and the subsequent impact on colloidal properties is examined. We start by examining theoretical models for densely grafted polymers (brushes), experimental techniques for their preparation and the properties of the ensuing structures. Our aim is to present a broad overview of the state of the art in this field, rather than an in-depth study. In the second section the interactions of surfaces with tethered polymers with the surrounding environment and the impact on colloidal properties are considered. Various theoretical models for such interactions are discussed. We then review the properties of colloids with tethered polymer chains, interactions between planar brushes and nanocolloids, interactions between brushes and biocolloids and the impact of grafted polymers on wetting properties of surfaces, using the ideas presented in the first section. The review closes with an outlook to possible new directions of research.

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