Post-Polymerization Modification of Fluoropolymers via UV Irradiation in the Presence of a Photoacid Generator

Anastasia Nika, Christina Gkioka, Fotini Machairioti, Panagiotis Bilalis, Jiaxi Xu, Katarzyna Gajos, Kamil Awsiuk, Panagiota Petrou, Margarita Chatzichristidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluorinated polymers have unique wettability and protein adsorption properties. The site-specific alteration of these properties could expand their application to different research areas. In this work, a fluorinated homopolymer and two of its copolymers with 4-vinylbenzyl glycidyl ether (VBGE) are synthesized by free radical polymerization. The produced polymers are then used to develop resist formulations by the addition of a photoacid generator. Films of these formulations are exposed to ultraviolet radiation through a binary mask and heated to create the pattern. It is found that the water contact angle values of the exposed films areas are reduced compared to those of the unexposed ones, with the exception of pentafluorophenyl methacrylate (PFMA) homopolymer film. This is attributed to the reaction of the epoxy groups creating x-links and producing hydroxyl groups and the cleavage of the pentafluorophenyl group from the ester group leading to carboxylic acid groups. Both modifications on the exposed areas are verified by FTIR spectroscopy and ToF-SIMS analysis. In addition, the biomolecules adsorption ability of the exposed area is increasing 10–15 times compared to the unexposed one for the PFMA homopolymer and the PFMA/VBGE 1:1 copolymer. Thus, the proposed polymers and patterning procedure could find application to spatially directed immobilization of biomolecules and/or cells onto a surface for both biosensing and tissue engineering purposes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 17 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-23
Acknowledgements: This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social FundESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014- 2020» in the context of the project “Bio-functional surfaces of fluoropolymers via lithography techniques” (MIS: 5048147). : We acknowledge financial support for publishing this work by the Special Account for Research Grants of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (SARG UoA).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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