If you can find an efficient way to alter the chemical makeup of a surface then you can potentially enable a wide range of applications.
If you can find an efficient way to alter the chemical makeup of a surface then you can potentially enable a wide range of applications—from designing electrodes for powerful sensors to accessing improved ways to harvest energy for more efficient solar panels.
Researchers from Canada and China did just that in research recently published in the journal Science. Renowned chemist Ian Manners, University of Victoria’s Canada 150 Chair in Materials Science, and chemist Huibin Qiu of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, developed a new way to achieve functionalized surfaces. The process involves covering a material with tiny seed particles that, when mixed with solutions of polymers, result in the growth of nanoscopic crystalline fibres or “micellar brushes.”
“What is very unique about this discovery is that it represents the creation of surface functionalization on a new length scale,” says Manners, who leads UVic’s Laboratory for Synthetic Self-Assembled Materials. “The ‘micellar brushes’ that we grow from the surface are 10 to 100 times as large as other brushes such as polymer chains that have previously been attached to surfaces.”
Continue reading at University of Victoria.
Image via University of Victoria.