Polypeptide polymer brushes by light-induced surface polymerization of amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides

T. Stukenkemper, X. Paquez, M.W.G.M. Verhoeven, E.J.M. Hensen, A.A. Dias, D.F. Brougham, A. Heise

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon wafers are decorated with photoamine generator 4,5-dimethoxy-2-nitrobenzyl 3-(triethoxysilyl)propyl carbamate. UV-irradiation in the presence of benzyl-l-glutamate N-carboxyanhydride is carried out, resulting in the release of the surface-bound primary amines, making them viable N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) polymerization initiators. Successful polypeptide grafting is confirmed by water contact angle measurements as well as by ellipsometry, revealing a poly(benzyl-l-glutamate) (PBLG) layer of ≈3 nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the presence of amide groups in the grafted PBLG while time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy provides additional evidence for the presence of PBLG on the surface. Evaluation of negative control samples confirms successful UV surface grafting. The approach is thus established as a viable general method for light exposure directable polypeptide functionalization of silicon surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700743
Number of pages5
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • NCA polymerization
  • Polymer brushes
  • Surface grafting
  • UV initiation
  • Photoelectron Spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Amino Acids/chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Carbamates/chemical synthesis
  • Polyglutamic Acid/analogs & derivatives


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