Coating architectures

2D Nanocoatings

On the molecular level, Surfix’s 2D nanocoatings resemble a long pile carpet, with every strand corresponding to a single molecule. The thickness of the coating is determined by the length of the coating molecule, and is therefore limited to a few nanometers. Despite their extremely low thickness, 2D nanocoatings can drastically change the surface properties of a material.

For example, the wettability of a hydrophilic material like glass can be completely inverted by the formation of a hydrophobic 2D nanocoating, resulting in a surface with a water contact angle of over 110°.

Because of their directional binding to the surface, 2D nanocoatings possess a high degree of molecular order. This is beneficial for applications where detailed control of the functional groups present at the surface is of importance.

3D NanoCoatings

For some applications, a thicker nanocoating is preferred. This can be achieved by using a different nanocoating precursor, allowing the nanocoating to grow from the surface during the coating process. The result is a branched polymer film (3D nanocoating) with a thickness up to 100 nanometer.

When comparing the 2D and 3D hydrophobic nanocoatings, the increased thickness and microstructure of the 3D architecture result in an even more hydrophobic surface, with a water contact angle exceeding 130o.

3D nanocoatings are also beneficial for the immobilization of bioreceptors (e.g. antibodies, aptamers or DNA) on biosensors. Owing to their higher thickness, 3D nanocoatings have a higher immobilization capacity compared to 2D nanocoatings, which improves the sensitivity and limit of detection of the biosensor.