Zwitterionic and cationic polyelectrolyte brushes on quartz substrate were prepared by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization of 2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) and 2-(methacryloyloxy) ethyltrimethylammonium chloride (METAC), respectively. The effects of ionic strength on brush structure and surface properties of densely grafted polyelectrolyte brushes were analysed by neutron reflectivity (NR) measurements. NR at poly(METAC)/D2O and poly(MPC)/D2O interface revealed that the grafted polymer chains were fairly extended from the substrate surface, while the thickness reduction of poly(METAC) brush was observed in 5.6 M NaCl/D2O solution due to the screening of the repulsive interaction between polycations by hydrated salt ions. Interestingly, no structural change was observed in poly(MPC) brush even in a salt solution probably due to the unique interaction properties of phosphorylcholine units.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)