Blog 2: Continuation of hydrosilation and modification with vinyl bearing siloxanes and perflouro-octene

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.

Blog 1: Hydrosilation of polyhydridomethyl siloxanes as an approach to mixed surfaces

Surface chemistry is an immensely important and often overlooked subset of chemical research. With how important tactile interactions are to our society, an increased focus on tactile interactions would allow us to fine tune surfaces in order to fulfill specific needs. However, the process of modification must be cost-effective and efficient to warrant further research; this is where my research comes in.

For the past year, I have been experimenting with a polymer called (poly)hydridomethylsiloxane, or HMS for short. This polymer is unique in that after coating a surface with it, we can perform subsequent reactions to fine tune the surface chemistry and achieve the desired function.¬† These subsequent reactions are called hydrosilations. So far, we’ve reacted a wide variety of chemicals with a vinyl functional group (i.e. a double bond) and characterized their effect on the surface. As for the surfaces we’ve used, we have focused on inorganic oxides. As the summer progresses and our research nears its end, we hope to finish our research and begin sorting through the wide array of data that we have collected.