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Brush/Gold Nanoparticle Hybrids: Effect of Grafting Density on the Particle Uptake and Distribution within Weak Polyelectrolyte Brushes
Citation key chri14a
Author Christau, S. and Möller, T. and Yenice, Z. and Genzer, J. and von Klitzing, R.
Pages 13033-13041
Year 2014
DOI 10.1021/la503432x
Journal Langmuir
Volume 30
Abstract The effect of the brush grafting density on the loading of 13 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) into stimuli-responsive poly(N,N-(dimethylamino ethyl) methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) brushes anchored to flat impenetrable substrates is reported. Atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is used to grow polymer brushes via a “grafting from” approach from a 2-bromo-2-methyl-N-(3-(triethoxysilyl) propyl) propanamide (BTPAm)-covered silicon substrate. The grafting density is varied by using mixtures of initiator and a “dummy” molecule that is not able to initiate polymerization. A systematic study is carried out by varying the brush grafting density while keeping all of the other parameters constant. X-ray reflectivity is a suitable tool for investigating the spatial structure of the hybrid, and it is combined with scanning electron microscopy and UV/vis spectroscopy to study the particle loading and interpenetration of the particles within the polymer brush matrix. The particle uptake increases with decreasing grafting density and is highest for an intermediate grafting density because more space between the polymer chains is available. For very low grafting densities of PDMAEMA brushes, the particle uptake decreases because of a lack of the polymer matrix for the attachment of particles. The structure of the surface-grafted polymer chains changes after particle attachment. More water is incorporated into the brush matrix after particle immobilization, which leads to a swelling of the polymer chains in the hybrid material. Water can be removed from the brush by decreasing the relative humidity, which leads to brush shrinking and forces the AuNPs to get closer to each other.
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