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