Homogeneous Embedding of Magnetic Nanoparticles into Polymer Brushes during Simultaneous Surface-Initiated Polymerization
Faculty of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, S. Łojasiewicza 11, 30-348 Krakow, Poland
Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 2, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology, AGH University of Science and Technology, A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030456
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites of Polymers and Inorganic Nanoparticles)
Here we present a facile and efficient method of controlled embedding of inorganic nanoparticles into an ultra-thin (<15 nm) and flat (~1.0 nm) polymeric coating that prevents unwanted aggregation. Hybrid polymer brushes-based films were obtained by simultaneous incorporation of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) with diameters of 8–10 nm into a polycationic macromolecular matrix during the surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) reaction in an ultrasonic reactor. The proposed structures characterized with homogeneous distribution of separated nanoparticles that maintain nanometric thickness and strong magnetic properties are a good alternative for commonly used layers of crosslinked nanoparticles aggregates or bulk structures. Obtained coatings were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM) working in the magnetic mode, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).