As the summer has progressed, my research team and I have made great strides in our project. Within the past month alone, we have successfully engineered surfaces with multiple siloxane layers of varying structures. Via hydrosilation, we reacted tetravinyl-tetramethyl- tetrasiloxane, a cyclic siloxane, with our HMS surfaces. This was done in order to confirm whether or not can we layer siloxanes and induce chemistry similar to the HMS monolayer. Likewise, we also reacted a straight-chain, vinyl terminated siloxane polymer and obtained similar results.
Additionally, we have begun to build off of our siloxane monolayers with perflouro-octene. Our initial results with fluorine chemistry were varied as several of our samples were less than ideal; some samples supported our hypothesis while others did not. We had expected our samples to be more hydrophobic due to the conformation of perflouro-octene; the spiral structural conformation is the most stable and should have induced hydrophobic interactions. We will be rerunning this specific experiment in an effort to try and obtain more consistent results.
Moving forward, we hope to obtain data for reactions with vinyl amine and PEG (polyethylene glycol). Amine chemistry is extremely important with a wide array of applications across many fields. PEG is a polymer that has traditionally been used in the medical field due to its high hydrophilicity. PEG has been used in medical implant technology, hydrogels, and targeted drug delivery. It is my hope that we can obtain the chemicals before the end of the summer in order to be able to run these experiments and obtain meaningful data.