Design and Synthesis of Underwater Adhesives with Superior Performance

Project: Research

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Adhesive materials capable to adhere to a target surface under a wet environment are required in many applications including underwater manipulation, transfer printing, and medical adhesives. However, their syntheses are very challenging. This project will theoretically and experimentally address the underwater adhesive process of copolymers and provide helpful guidance on designing adhesive materials for the applications. Specifically, we will theoretically explore the geometry and dynamics of DOPA-containing adhesives on various substrates to understand these adhesion processes and their dynamic information. The results will help advance the understanding of the environment-dependent physical and chemical properties of adhesives and thus guide experimental synthesis. Experimentally, free-radical copolymerization of the DOPA monomer will be used to synthesize the adhesive copolymer. The adhesive properties of the copolymers further functionalized by catechol groups under different pHs, temperatures, substrates, preloads, and electrolytes will be characterized and compared to obtain the structures and adhesion performance of adhesive copolymers. 


Project number7020044
Grant typeSIRG
Effective start/end date1/05/22 → …