[en] Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) ; Brush ; responsive-surfaces
[en] We report on a new route for the facile prepn. of pH-responsive tethered brushes on metallic surfaces, starting from poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) contg. a disulfide (S-S) bond (PAA-S-S-PAA). First, atom transfer radical polymn. (ATRP) of 1-ethoxyethyl acrylate (EEA) with a disulfide-contg. initiator was performed to obtain the poly(EEA) precursor polymer (PEEA-S-S-PEEA). Deprotection of PEEA by a heating step resulted in the desired PAA chains without any further purifn. The brushes, obtained by the grafting to' of PAA-S-S-PAA onto gold, were then characterized by at. force microscopy in water at various pH values. The results evidence a large collapsing/swelling capacity.