Polymer Thin Film Coatings
We synthesize responsive polymer thin-films using initiated-chemical vapor deposition, which is a solventless, all-dry process enabling deposition of conformal polymer coatings on delicate substrates. The initiator radicals are formed by the thermal decomposition of the initiator by heated filaments. Polymerization takes place on the surface and is initiated when the gas-phase initiator radicals attack the adsorbed monomers initiating the polymerization. This technique was first developed by Prof. Karen K. Gleason at MIT.
We design and fabricate multi-functional, patterned surfaces of responsive polymers using i-CVD and study anti-fouling properties of these surfaces.
Stimuli Responsive Polymer Nanotubes
We synthesize polymer nanotubes from stimuli responsive polymers using templated i-CVD method. These nanotubes are then used for controlled delivery of macromolecules. The onset of release and release rates can be controlled by tuning the response of the polymer systems. We also synthesize coaxial nanotubes of several different layers for improved response kinetics.
We prepare separation membranes using free-standing polymer thin films. The selectivity and the permeability of the membranes can be adjusted via polymer chemistry. Side-by-side diffusion cells and a dead-end filtration system are used to test the performance of the membranes.