Amphiphilic surface active triblock copolymers with mixed hydrophobic and hydrophilic side chains for tuned marine fouling-release properties
Dimitriou MD., Sohn KE., Callow ME., Callow JA., Handlin DL., Willis CL., Fischer DA., Kramer EJ., Ober CK.
Two series of amphiphilic triblock surface active block copolymers (SABCs) were prepared through chemical modification of two polystyrene-block- poly(ethylene-ran-butylene)-block-polyisoprene ABC triblock copolymer precursors. The methyl ether of poly(ethylene glycol) [Mn ≈ 550 g/mol (PEG550)] and a semifluorinated alcohol (CF3(CF2) 9(CH2)10OH) [F10H10] were attached at different molar ratios to impart both hydrophobic and hydrophilic groups to the isoprene segment. Coatings on glass slides consisting of a thin layer of the amphiphilic SABC deposited on a thicker layer of an ABA polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-ran- butylene)-block-polystyrene thermoplastic elastomer were prepared for biofouling assays with algae. Dynamic water contact angle analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) measurements were utilized to characterize the surfaces. Clear differences in surface structure were realized as the composition of attached side chains was varied. In biofouling assays, the settlement (attachment) of zoospores of the green alga Ulva was higher for surfaces incorporating a large proportion of the hydrophobic F10H10 side chains, while surfaces with a large proportion of the PEG550 side chains inhibited settlement. The trend in attachment strength of sporelings (young plants) of Ulva did not show such an obvious pattern. However, amphiphilic SABCs incorporating a mixture of PEG550 and F10H10 side chains performed the best. The number of cells of the diatom Navicula attached after exposure to flow decreased as the content of PEG550 to F10H10 side chains increased. © 2010 American Chemical Society.