Surface Electroinitiated Emulsion Polymerization (SEEP): A mechanistic approach

Abstract : As recently reported, the SEEP process (surface electroinitiated emulsion polymerization) is a new grafting method that provides covalently grafted polymer films on conducting or semiconducting surfaces by radical polymerization in aqueous dispersed media. It relies on cathodic electroinitiation, which creates radical species able to start a radical polymerization. Contrary to the formerly described cathodic electrografting of vinylic polymers (CE), which also delivers submicrometerthick and stable polymer films on conducting substrates but requires strictly anhydrous conditions and organic aprotic solvent, SEEP brings a major improvement in switching from a purely anionic mechanism to a radical one by adding an aryldiazonium salt in the reaction mixture, while retaining the same polymer films characteristics. Moreover, SEEP is not restricted to water-soluble monomers but can be performed even with hydrophobic ones, such as n-butyl methacrylate (BMA). In such cases, a surfactant is necessary to stabilize the monomer in water emulsion. From this one-pot electrografting process performed in water at room temperature, in a few minutes, without restrictions on vinylic monomer water solubility, results a polymer coating strongly grafted to the substrate. This article aims at completing our first one and focuses on mechanistic aspects of SEEP to eventually establish a possible "grafting onto" mechanism. To achieve that goal, we have analyzed grafted polymer films obtained by SEEP on gold substrate from BMA in water as a miniemulsion by IR-ATR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM).
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Submitted on : Friday, July 11, 2014 - 7:38:15 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 2:46:15 PM

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Lorraine Tessier, Guy Deniau, Bernadette Charleux, Serge Palacin. Surface Electroinitiated Emulsion Polymerization (SEEP): A mechanistic approach. Chemistry of Materials, American Chemical Society, 2009, 21, pp.4261-4274. ⟨10.1021/cm901430t⟩. ⟨cea-01022832⟩

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