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Polymers 2011, 3(4), 2107-2132; doi:10.3390/polym3042107

Water Soluble Responsive Polymer Brushes

Bragg Institute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee DC, NSW 2232, Australia
Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Sheffield, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2011 / Revised: 18 November 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 7 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Soluble Polymers)
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Responsive polymer brushes possess many interesting properties that enable them to control a range of important interfacial behaviours, including adhesion, wettability, surface adsorption, friction, flow and motility. The ability to design a macromolecular response to a wide variety of external stimuli makes polymer brushes an exciting class of functional materials, and has been made possible by advances in modern controlled polymerization techniques. In this review we discuss the physics of polymer brush response along with a summary of the techniques used in their synthesis. We then review the various stimuli that can be used to switch brush conformation; temperature, solvent quality, pH and ionic strength as well as the relatively new area of electric field actuation We discuss examples of devices that utilise brush conformational change, before highlighting other potential applications of responsive brushes in real world devices.
Keywords: polymer brush; polyelectrolyte; responsive; smart surfaces polymer brush; polyelectrolyte; responsive; smart surfaces

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weir, M.P.; Parnell, A.J. Water Soluble Responsive Polymer Brushes. Polymers 2011, 3, 2107-2132.

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