Date of this Version
Published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 406 (2014), pp 7233–7242. doi 10.1007/s00216-014-8154-4
Erratum incorporated from Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 407 (2015), pp 1275–1276. doi 10.1007/s00216-014-8343-1
A combined setup of quartz crystal microbalance and generalized ellipsometry can be used to comprehensively investigate complex functional coatings comprising stimuli-responsive polymer brushes and 3D nanostructures in a dynamic, noninvasive in situ measurement. While the quartz crystal microbalance detects the overall change in areal mass, for instance, during a swelling or adsorption process, the generalized ellipsometry data can be evaluated in terms of a layered model to distinguish between processes occurring within the intercolumnar space or on top of the anisotropic nanocolumns. Silicon films with anisotropic nanocolumnar morphology were prepared by the glancing angle deposition technique and further functionalized by grafting of poly-(acrylic acid) or poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) chains. Investigations of the thermoresponsive swelling of the poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) brush on the Si nanocolumns proved the successful preparation of a stimuli-responsive coating. Furthermore, the potential of these novel coatings in the field of biotechnology was explored by investigation of the adsorption of the model protein bovine serum albumin. Adsorption, retention, and desorption triggered by a change in the pH value is observed using poly-(acrylic acid) functionalized nanostructures, although generalized ellipsometry data revealed that this process occurs only on top of the nanostructures. Poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) is found to render the nanostructures non-fouling properties.
Includes supplemental materials.