Swelling of Poly(methyl acrylate) Brushes in Acetone Vapor

Rens J. Horst, Maria Brió Pérez, Rick Cohen, Marco Cirelli, Paloma S. Dueñas Robles, Maria G. Elshof, Aleksandar Andreski, Mark A. Hempenius, Nieck E. Benes, Cas Damen, Sissi de Beer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Sensor platforms can benefit from the incorporation of polymer brushes since brushes can concentrate the analyte near the sensor surface. Brushes that absorb acetone vapor are of particular interest since acetone is an important marker for biological processes. We present a simple procedure to synthesize acetone-responsive poly(methyl acrylate) brushes. Using spectroscopic ellipsometry, we show that these brushes respond within seconds and swell by more than 30% when exposed to acetone vapor. Moreover, quartz crystal microbalance measurements demonstrate that the brushes can be exploited to increase the acetone detection sensitivity of sensors by more than a factor 6. Surprisingly, we find that the swelling ratio of the brushes in acetone vapor is independent of the grafting density and the degree of polymerization of the polymers in the brush. This is qualitatively different from swelling of the same brushes in liquid environments, where the swelling ratio decreases for increasing grafting densities. Yet, it indicates that the brushes are robust and reproducible candidates for implementation in vapor sensor systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12053-12060
Number of pages8
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D


Dive into the research topics of 'Swelling of Poly(methyl acrylate) Brushes in Acetone Vapor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this