May 26, 2011 - Dr. Jason Locklin
“Making Surfaces Smart"
Surface-initiated polymerization reactions are rapidly developing as methods to prepare functional, high-tech coatings. This is a technique based on the growth of polymer molecules at the surface of a substrate in situ from a surface bound initiator, which results in the covalent attachment of polymer molecules to this substrate. Polymer layers in which the polymer chains are irreversibly immobilized to the substrate are especially attractive for a wide variety of applications, as these layers have excellent long-term stability, even in rather adverse environments. In addition to improved stability, the arrangement of stretched polymer chains allows for high densities of functional groups to be obtained in a limited area. We are currently developing new polymerization methodologies using surface initiated polymerization for the following applications: Light induced mechanical motion, orthogonal click-chemistry, colorimetric sensors, and enzymatic biofuel cells made from conjugated polymers.