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Tao Zhang: Patterned Polymer Brushes on Graphene

posted 7 Aug 2014, 05:29 by Lisbeth Kirk Mynster
Tao Zhang 1, Jana Kalbacova 2, Kai Wang 1, Ihsan Amin 1, Raul D. Rodriguez 2, Dietrich R.T. Zahn 2, Rainer Jordan 1
1Professur für Makromolekulare Chemie, Department Chemie, Technische Universität Dresden, Mommsenstrass 4, 01062 Dresden, Germany,
2Technische Universität Chemnitz, Semiconductor Physics, Reichenhainer Straße 70, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany

Graphene is an ideal two-dimensional material with exceptional structural, chemical, and electrical properties which make it an highly promising candidate for biosensing and bioelectronics.[1] In order to utilize the full potential of graphene for such applications, methods of achieving defined and specific chemical function using scalable methods must be developed. We have demonstrated that graphene can be directly modified by covalent grafting of polymer brushes using self-initiated photografting and photopolymerization (SIPGP) without change of the sp2-character of the graphene.[2,3] Here, we study the effect of self-assembled monolayer (SAM) substrate on the chemical activity of large scale single layer graphene using the SIPGP on graphene/SAM/SiO2/Si. The method was inspired by the work of Q.H. Wang et al. on the influence of the underlying substrate on the reactivity of graphene to diazonium functionalization.[4] From the chemically inert CH3-SAM, the electron-donating NH2-SAM, and the native SiO2 substrate supported graphene, we found that the SAM directly controls the reactivity and thus grafting density and the layer thickness of grafted polymer brushes. These results offer a direct route to prepare patterned polymer brushes on graphene for various vinyl monomers. 
[1] Lucas H. Hess, et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2014, 6 (12), 9705.
[2] Marin Steenackers, et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133 (27), 10490.
[3] Max Seifert, et al., Chem. Mater., 2013, 25 (3), 466.
[4] Qing Hua Wang, et al., Nature Chem., 2012, 4, 724.

Tao Zhang is currently a Ph.D. student at the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry at Technical University of Dresden under the supervision of Prof. Rainer Jordan. His project is focused on fabrication of functional polymer brushes on graphene by surface initiated polymerization, such as self-initiated photografting and photopolymerization (SIPGP), surface-initiated Kumada catalyst-transfer polycondensation (SI-KCTP) and self-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP).