journal article

Contact-Biocide TiO2 Surfaces by Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization with Chemically Stable Phosphonate Initiators


Surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) is a powerful tool for grafting functional polymers from metal surfaces. It depends on the immobilization of suitable initiators on the surface before radical polymerization. Herein, we report a set of bifunctional initiators bearing a phosphonic acid group for surface binding and a bromoisobutyramide moiety for SI-ATRP. We have analyzed the impact of the connecting alkyl spacers on the grafting process of (vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride (VBTAC) from titanium as a base material. The thickness of the grafted polymer increased with the spacer length of the initiator. We obtained chemically stable polycationic surfaces with high charge densities of ∼1016 N+/cm2 leading to efficient contact activity of modified titanium coupons against S. aureus. Notably, SI-ATRP grafting was efficient with VBTAC as a styrene-derived ammonium compound. Thus, the reported protocol avoids post-grafting quaternization with toxic alkylating reagents.
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