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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Dec 26;5(24):13466-77. doi: 10.1021/am404317c. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Robust superamphiphobic coatings based on silica particles bearing bifunctional random copolymers.

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  • 1Guangzhou Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Guangzhou, People's Republic of China , 510650.


Reported herein is the growth of bifunctional random copolymer chains from silica particles through a "grafting from" approach and the use of these copolymer-bearing particles to fabricate superamphiphobic coatings. The silica particles had a diameter of 90 ± 7 nm and were prepared through a modified Stöber process before atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) initiators were introduced onto their surfaces. Bifunctional copolymer chains bearing low-surface-free-energy fluorinated units and sol-gel-forming units were then grafted from these silica particles by surface-initiated ATRP. Perfluorooctyl ethyl acrylate (FOEA) and 3-(triisopropyloxy)silylpropyl methacrylate (IPSMA) were respectively used as fluorinated and sol-gel-forming monomers in this reaction. Hydrolyzing the IPSMA units in the presence of an acid catalyst yielded silica particles that were adorned with silanol-bearing copolymer chains. Coatings were prepared by spraying these hydrolyzed silica particles onto glass and cotton substrates. A series of four different copolymer-functionalized silica particles samples bearing copolymers with similar FOEA molar fractions (fF) of ~80% but with different copolymer grafting mass ratios (gm) that ranged between 12.3 wt% and 58.8 wt%, relative to silica, were prepared by varying the polymerization protocols. These copolymer-bearing silica particles with a gm exceeding 34.1 wt% were used to coat glass and cotton substrates, yielding superamphiphobic surfaces. More importantly, these particulate-based coatings were robust and resistant to solvent extraction and NaOH etching thanks to the self-cross-linking of the copolymer chains and their covalent attachment to the substrates.

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