Antifouling Properties of Dendritic Polyglycerols against Marine Macrofouling Organisms

Wanka, R. and Aldred, N. and Finlay, J.A. and Amuthalingam, A. and Clarke, J.L. and Clare, A.S. and Rosenhahn, A.

Volume: 35 Pages: 16568-16575
DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02720
Published: 2019

Dendritic polyglycerols (PGs) were synthesized and postmodified by grafting of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG) diglycidyl ether groups, and their antifouling and fouling-release properties were tested. Coating characterization by spectroscopic ellipsometry, contact angle goniometry, attenuated total internal reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and atomic force microscopy showed brushlike morphologies with a high degree of microscale roughness and the ability to absorb large amounts of water within seconds. PGs with three different thicknesses were tested in laboratory assays against settlement of larvae of the barnacle Balanus improvisus and against the settlement and removal of zoospores of the alga Ulva linza. Very low coating thicknesses, e.g., 11 nm, reduced the settlement of barnacles, under static conditions, to 2% compared with 55% for an octadecyltrichlorosilane reference surface. In contrast, zoospores of U. linza settled readily but the vast majority were removed by exposure to a shear force of 52 Pa. Both PEG and PPG modification increased the antifouling properties of the PG films, providing a direct comparison of the ultralow fouling properties of all three polymers. Both, the modified and the nonmodified PGs are promising components for incorporation into amphiphilic fouling-resistant coatings. © 2019 American Chemical Society.

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