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.