Dry film refractive index as an important parameter for ultra-low fouling surface coatings

Norman D. Brault, Harihara S. Sundaram, Yuting Li, Chun Jen Huang, Qiuming Yu, Shaoyi Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Here we demonstrate that the film refractive index (RI) can be an even more important parameter than film thickness for identifying nonfouling polymer films to undiluted human blood plasma and serum. The film thickness and RI are two parameters obtained from ellipsometry. Previously, film thickness has been correlated to ultra-low fouling properties. Practically, the film RI can be used to characterize polymer density but is often overlooked. By varying the water content in the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization of zwitterionic carboxybetaine, a minimum of ∼1.5 RI units was necessary to achieve <5 ng/cm 2 of adsorption from undiluted human serum. A model of the film structure versus water content was also developed. These results point to an important parameter and simple approach for identifying surface coatings suitable for real-world applications involving complex media. Therefore, ultra-low fouling using a thin film is possible if it is densely packed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-593
Number of pages5
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2012

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