Alexandria Digital Research Library

Development of polymeric coatings for antifouling applications

Toumayan, Edward Philip
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Chemical Engineering
Degree Supervisor:
Craig J. Hawker and Glenn H. Fredrickson
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Chemical engineering, Materials science, and Polymer chemistry
Polymer brushes
Polymer science
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016

Fouling, or the deposition of unwanted material onto a surface, is a serious problem that can impair the function of submerged structures, such as marine-going vessels and underwater equipment. Water filtration membranes are particularly susceptible to fouling due to their microstructure and high water pressure operating conditions. For this reason, there has been considerable interest in developing fouling-resistant, or "antifouling" coatings for membranes, specifically coatings that mitigate fouling propensity while maintain high water flux. Polymer coatings have garnered significant interest in antifouling literature, due to their synthetic versatility and variety, and their promising resistance to a wide range of foulants. However, antifouling research has yet to establish a consistent framework for polymer coating synthesis and fouling evaluation, making it difficult or impossible to compare previously established methodologies. To this end, this work establishes a standardized methodology for synthesizing and evaluating polymer antifouling coatings. Specifically, antifouling coatings are synthesized using a grafting-from polymerization and fouling propensity is evaluated by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D). Using this framework, a number of different surface functionalization strategies are compared, including grafting-to and grafting-from polymerization.

A number of different surface functionalization strategies, including grafting-to and grafting-from, were investigated and the fouling performance of these films was evaluated. Primarily, sulfobetaine methacrylate, and poly(ethylene oxide) methacrylate monomers were investigated, among others. Grafting-to, while advantageous from a characterization standpoint, was ultimately limited to low grafting densities, which did not afford a significant improvement in fouling resistance. However, the higher grafting densities achievable by grafting-from did indicate improved fouling resistance. A grafting-from strategy based on polydopamine (PDA)-initiated surface polymerization was developed as a facile method capable of deposition on various substrates. In addition, the PDA method demonstrated polymerization of various monomer classes, enabling versatility in surface chemistry modification in a reproducible fashion. QCM-D then enabled the deposition of arbitrarily selected foulants onto these polymer-modified substrates. Protein fouling was employed as the basis for evaluating antifouling performance, though other foulants were also demonstrated. Improved resistance to protein fouling was corroborated by QCM-D experiments for hydrophilic and zwitterionic polymer coatings including poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate). The combination of PDA-initiated polymer films and QCM-D based fouling experiments provides a versatile and reproducible platform for antifouling research.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (169 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Edward Toumayan
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