Biologically sourced dynamic chemistry for next generation adaptive coatings

Within this research project stimuli responsive building blocks will be synthesized for production of smart functional coatings. A particular focus will be on the use of green and naturally sourced monomers for sustainable coatings.

When designing new stimuli-responsive features in sustainable coatings, the responsive building blocks need to be compatible with green and naturally sourced monomers. In this sub-project, adaptive molecular units will be designed and synthesized that can be incorporated within such polymers, with a particular focus on redox-active and light-sensitive units. The resulting coatings will be able to sense changes in the redox-environment, such as corrosion of underlying layers, or respond to day-and-night changes in light-conditions. Incorporation of responsive units into such polymers will also allow for on-demand disassembly and recycling of the coating. In parallel, the potential for dynamic covalent crosslinks will be explored. Such dynamic covalent bonds can rapidly rearrange crosslinking with the polymeric network, allowing for dynamic changes of the mechanical and surface properties of the coating. The latter is of particular interest with regard to controlling surface structure and properties to control wetting and adhesion. Ultimately, the combination of dynamic crosslinks, intrinsic switchable (adaptive) elements, and control over surface structure give access to coatings with better robustness and adaptive behavior.