Functional polymer thin films with tailored properties by initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition
Initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) is a solvent-free, cost efficient synthesis technique to deposit conformal polymeric thin films. The properties of these organic thin films can be precisely modified by changing the deposition parameters, which also enable thicknesses from the nanometer-range up to several micrometers. The deposition at room temperature through the vapor phase has several advantages, i.e., coating of sensitive substrates as well as the ability to conformally coat porous 3D structures. The use of different comonomers facilitates copolymerization, which for instance, enables a good control over the degree of crosslinking and film functionality. This offers the possibility to tailor the properties of the polymeric thin films for a variety of applications, like surface functionalization and drug delivery systems. Applying an ultra-thin fluoropolymer coating drastically changes the wettability from hydrophilic to super-hydrophobic*. Gradually changing the film compositioncan promote film adhesion as well as application range**. The release kinetics of drugs is strongly coupled to the degree of crosslinking and film thickness. This allows to tailor the release profiles for different drugs, which differ in lipophilicity or structure, to treat diseases most efficiently.
*: O. C. Aktas et al. Adv. Mater. Interfaces DOI: 10.1002/admi.201970029
**: S. Schröder et al. Mater. Today. DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2020.02.04