Simple Benchtop Approach to Polymer Brush Nanostructures Using Visible-Light-Mediated Metal-Free Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization

Discekici, E. H., Pester, C. W., Treat, N. J., Lawrence, J., Mattson, K. M., Narupai, B., Toumayan, E. P., Luo, Y., McGrath, A. J., Clark, P. G., Read de Alaniz, J., and Hawker, C. J.
ACS Macro Lett.
5, pp 258–262

The development of an operationally simple, metal-free surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) based on visible-light mediation is reported. The facile nature of this process enables the fabrication of well-defined polymer brushes from flat and curved surfaces using a “benchtop” setup that can be easily scaled to four-inch wafers. This circumvents the requirement of stringent air-free environments (i.e., glovebox), and mediation by visible light allows for spatial control on the micron scale, with complex three-dimensional patterns achieved in a single step. This robust approach leads to unprecedented access to brush architectures for nonexperts.