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Vapor-Based Reactive Polymeric Coatings


Surface modification of complex substrates has emerged as a key challenge in many applications. In this respect, vaporbased polymer coatings have garnered a lot attention as compared to wet-chemical approaches and are applicable to a diverse range of polymerizations. However, these coatings have been hampered by the lack of anchor groups and reactive functionalities for further surface modification.


We have developed a novel vapor-based surface modification technique using chemical vapor deposition polymerization. This deposition process creates a layer of ultra-thin reactive polymeric film onto the substrates surfaces. The reacting coatings are made of poly-p-xyxlene containing functional anchor moieties. The deposition process does not require the use of any solvents/initiators, making it a bio-compatible process for various biomedical applications. The coating typically has a thickness in the nm to μm range and can be applied to any surfaces and to complex 3-dimensional geometries. Our custom-built CVD system has also enabled us to create polymer coatings which present multiple functional groups simultaneously, as well as polymer gradients. We have further demonstrated the applicability of these coatings towards biomimetic and spatially-directed surface engineering.

 • Solvent-free 
 • Room-temperature process
 • Good adhesion on a wide range of substrates
 • Yields pinhole-free conformal coatings
 • Provides chemically reactive functional groups
 • Applicable to 3-D and complex geometries 


 • Covalent immobilization of ligands 
 • Click chemistry
 • Nanoimprint lithography
 • Surfaces with chemical gradients
 • Dry-adhesion bonding
 • Biomedical device coatings (stents, grafts, scaffolds)
 • Microfluidic device coatings
 • Implantable electronic device coatings
 • Cell culture substrates
 • Non-fouling surfaces
 • Nano-composites
 • Initiator coatings for ATRP, etc.