Stability and Retention Enhancement of Low Fouling Polystyrene sulfonic acid (PSS) and Polyethylene glycol (PEG) Blend Films with Silane Coupling Agents

Sean Stybel, University of Akron


The goal of this research project was to apply silane coupling agents for enhanced stability and retention of a low fouling polymeric coating to an inorganic substrate. A blend of polystyrene sulfonic acid (PSS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) was crosslinked in order to create a low fouling film. The film was prepared by spin coating a PSS-PEG solution on an inorganic substrate coated with a layer of a silane coupling agent (3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, APTES, solution), followed by thermal curing. The research was limited to less than one year and only used lab equipment available at the University of Akron. Stability and retention of the PSS-PEG films on APTES were assessed by optical morphology and film thickness before and after dip-washing. Anti-fouling properties were determined by water contact angle and microscopic analysis. Experimental results showed that the addition of APTES helped increase the film retention percentage from 24-49% for 50:50 PSS:PEG and 22-39% for 75:25 PSS:PEG. It was concluded that the addition of silane coupling agents did lead to increased stability and retention while displaying similar hydrophilicity and increased anti-fouling performance. If this research is continued successfully, this low fouling material can help reduce surgical and antifouling coating costs.