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Title: Surface functionalization of fibres with polymer brushes
Authors: Liu, Xuqing
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Textiles with multiple functional properties are the future of the global textile and apparel industry offering new challenges as well as opportunities. A major application of these textiles will be in the field of functional clothing where the consumer is demanding more and more comfort, easy care, health and hygiene while at the same time expecting protection against mechanical, thermal, chemical and biological attacks. Along with the new functionalities,other desirable properties of finishes include the appearance,feel and durability to laundering. Such complex expectations can only be met by developing new, advanced and innovative technologies for finishing of textile products. To match the requirements of functional fabrics, in this thesis, a systematic study has been carried out to establish active interfaces by grafting polymer brushes on fabrics. These active interfaces are response to moisture, temperature, catalyst, and play as a platform to nanostructures deposition, and several functional fabrics are developed based on the active interface. The knowledge gaps identified in the introduction and literature review have been filled by carrying out the objectives which are summarized below. Firstly, to fill the research gap 1, activated single molecular layer which can both bond fibre with strong adhesion and process reactive chemical groups for further functional polymer brushes growth is developed. Trichlorosilane functionalized initiator for fabric substrates is designed and synthesized. It is proved that polymer brushes could be prepared by combining this designed initiator and the controlled living polymerization on the fabrics' surface,meanwhile commercial 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide is studied as a reference. The influence on two kinds of initiators for controlled growth of polymer brushes on cotton fabrics is investigated and the designed trichlorosilane functionalized initiator showed some advantage with the commercial 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide. To fill research gap 2, based on the activated single molecular layer on fibres, responsive polymer brushes are grown directly by the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP), to construct a series of active interface on fibres. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes which can built up thermal-responsive interface with water is selected since its low critical solution temperature (LCST, 31~35 °C) is similar to the body temperature. The grafted polymer brushes which can responsively and reversibly control the wettability and hygroscopicity of cotton, meanwhile the smart interface can switch from high water absorptive state below its LCST to low absorptive state above its LCST. Smart systems with properties of moisture management and thermoregulation are investigated systematically on human body. To fill research gap 3, a typical polyelectrolyte,poly-2-(methacryloyloxy) ethyl-trimethylammonium chloride (PMETAC) brushes are introduced onto the fibre, to form active polymeric interface which can catch catalyst moleculars from solution and fabricate nanoparticles-polymer brushes. The strong adhesion force between resultant metal composites and fibres leading to excellent mechanical and electrical stability under extensive rubbing, bending, stretching,and washing;and the conductivity can remain stable in air with proper choice of metal.
To exploit applicability of this type of polyelectrolyte brushes bridged metal nanoparticles deposition on non-natural synthetic fabrics, plasma assistant grafting polymer brushes was developed.Then PMETAC brushes were grown from the active PET surface by surface initiated ATRP, which act as a platform for ELD of copper particles depositing to form polymer-bridges copper-PET hierarchical structures subsequently. This in-situ depositing approach ensures that the copper nanoparticles could distribute uniformly and continuously on the surface of PET fabric structure. As the site selection of polymer brushes, a new printing strategy that allows for the simple fabrication of high-performance flexible, foldable, and stretchable metal conductors on a wide variety of substrates at room temperature is developed. It is compatible with many printing methods by simply tuning the amount of delivering matrix polymer for specific ink requirement, so as to fabricate features with sizes ranging from sub-micrometer, to micrometer,centimeter, and even meter scales. Therefore, MACP is suitable for experimental prototyping (e.g.,using inkjet printing and DPN), as well as high-throughput fabrication (e.g.,screen printing). Therefore,it shows remarkable application potentials for plastic electronics, smart textiles, electronic skins,and biomedical implants and devices. To fill the research gap 4,composite of metal oxide nanoparticles and polymer brushes are integrated by active polymer brushes through interfacial connection. UV functional metal oxide materials, ZnO nanorods,have been electrolessly deposited on cotton fabrics successfully, meanwhile polyelectrolyte brushes play as supported catalyst capture interface.Surface morphological observation reveals that the process leads to the deposition of hexagonal prism crystallites, a characteristic morphology for the ZnO materials. The optical-UV spectroscopy studies indication those ZnO nanorods deposited on fabrics surface show active defense and shelter against UV radiation. The strong adhesion force between composite of ZnO-polymer brushes and fibres offers excellent wash fastness. To fill the research gap 5, fabrics with micro-nano-polymer brushes are developed. Antifouling polymer brushes are grafting on fabrics with multi-brushes structure. Settlement assays with microalgae/zoospores indicated that the multi-scale polymer brushes could successfully repel the settlement of microalgae/zoospores.In future,the testing in both static and dynamic sea water,especially in dynamic sea water will be carried on. Additionally, antibacterial properties of functional fabrics with nano-copper coating which are mentioned in Chapter 4 are also investigated as extension.It shows an important expanded application of copper nanoparticles-polymer brushes composite. By grafting polymer brushes on fibre,a novel system with active interfaces is constructed and shows responses under external stimuli,including temperature, moisture,chemical solution,and plays as platforms to interact with water, metal nanoparticles, pH values, giving smart, intelligent and interactive textiles. The novel strategy of constructing active interface can be employed to impart more functional properties on various fabrics in future. The active interfacial science of fibre established in this thesis bases on assimilation of different sciences and knowledges such as surface chemistry, organic synthesis, polymer science, nanotechnology, lithography, and biology.
Subjects: Textile fabrics -- Surface properties.
Textile fibers -- Surface properties.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: ix, 192 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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