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Biofouling. 2005;21(1):59-71.

Hybrid xerogel films as novel coatings for antifouling and fouling release.

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Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York 14260, USA.


Hybrid sol-gel-derived xerogel films prepared from 45/55 (mol ratio) n-propyltrimethoxysilane (C3-TMOS)/tetramethylorthosilane (TMOS), 2/98 (mol ratio) bis[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]-ethylenediamine (enTMOS)/tetraethylorthosilane (TEOS), 50/50 (mol ratio) n-octyltriethoxysilane (C8-TEOS)/TMOS, and 50/50 (mol ratio) 3,3,3-trifluoropropyltrimethoxysilane (TFP-TMOS)/TMOS were found to inhibit settlement of zoospores of the marine fouling alga Ulva (syn. Enteromorpha) relative to settlement on acid-washed glass and give greater release of settled zoospores relative to glass upon exposure to pressure from a water jet. The more hydrophobic 50/50 C8-TEOS/TMOS xerogel films had the lowest critical surface tension by comprehensive contact angle analysis and gave significantly greater release of 8-day Ulva sporeling biomass after exposure to turbulent flow generated by a flow channel than the other xerogel surfaces or glass. The 50/50 C8-TEOS/TMOS xerogel was also a fouling release surface for juveniles of the tropical barnacle Balanus amphitrite. X-ray photon electron data indicated that the alkylsilyl residues of the C3-TMOS-, C8-TEOS-, and TFP-TMOS-containing xerogels were located on the surface of the xerogel films (in a vacuum), which contributes to the film hydrophobicity. Similarly, the amine-containing silyl residues of the enTMOS/TEOS films were located at the surface of the xerogel films, which contributes to the more hydrophilic character and increased critical surface tension of these films.

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