Chemistry regenerating surface properties

Parties: Aarhus University, RadiSurf, Cemecon, others?

Contact person industry: ​Mikkel Kongsfelt (RadiSurf ApS)
Contact person AU: ​Steen U. Pedersen, Rikke Meyer, Morten Foss

Description:

Coating a surface with polymer brushes is an efficient way to change the properties of a surface. However, such processes are normally one-time solutions, with no option for renewing or regenerating the surface properties once the surfaces wear or become fouled. A coating technology that allow regeneration of the surface chemistry would be ideal. One application for renewable coatings is in the antifouling area. Bacteria and other organisms attach to surfaces and form a fouling layer that has several detrimental consequences.  If bacteria fouling layer could be removed together with the top part of a surface coating, the functionality of the coating could be restored, or the coating would be removed to enable a process to renew the coating.

The aim of the project is to make a proof of concept on either one of these strategies, showing that a nano coating based on polymer brushes can be made either in a form, where one can selectively cleave (top) parts of the coatings or cleave the entire coating and regenerate it in a simple subsequent chemical reaction.

Methods
The project will rely on organic surface chemistry techniques. Hence, it will involve synthesis of polymer systems, surface polymerizations, electrochemical modification techniques etc. for the fabrication of the polymer surfaces.

For the analysis of the produced surfaces, methods such as IR Spectroscopy on surfaces, AFM, XPS etc. will be used. In final part of the project, use of the surfaces for fouling protection will be tested.