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Fabrication of a Postfunctionalizable, Biorepellent, Electroactive Polyurethane Interface on a Gold Surface by Surface-Assisted Polymerization
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This study describes surface-assisted (SurfAst) urethane polymerization, providing a modular/postfunctionalizable, biorepellent, electroactive similar to 10 to 100 nm-thick polyurethane (PU) interface on a gold surface. SurfAst is a functionalization methodology based on sequential incubation steps of alkane diisocyanates and alkanediol monomers. The gold surface is functionalized by alkane diisocyanates in the first incubation step, and our theoretical calculations reveal that while the isocyanate group atoms (N, C, and O) at one end of the molecule exhibits strong interactions (similar to 900 meV) with surface atoms, the other end group remains unreacted. After the first incubation step, sequential alkanediol and alkane diisocyanate incubations provide formation of the PU interface. The extensive analysis of the PU interface has been conducted via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and the chemical mapping verifies that the interface is made of PU moieties. The topographical analysis of the surface conducted by the atomic force microscopy shows that the PU interface consists of mostly a nanoporous texture with 150 nm total roughness. The adherence force mapping of the PU interface reveals that the nanoporous matrix exhibits an adhesion force of about 14 nN. The electrostatic force microscopy characterizing long-range electrostatic interactions (40 nm) shows that the PU interface has been attracted by positively charged species as compared to negative objects. Finally, it is demonstrated that the PU interface is readily postfunctionalizable by polyethylene glycol (PEG 1000), serving as a biorepellent interface and preserving electroactivity. We foresee that SurfAst polymerization will have potential for the facile fabrication of a postfunctionalizable and modular biointerface which might be utilized for biosensing and bioelectronic applications.