There is currently strong motivation due to ecological concerns to develop effective anti-biofouling coatings that are environmentally benign, durable, and stable for use by the maritime industry. The antifouling (AF) and fouling-release (FR) efficacy of amphiphilic, charged copolymers composed of ~52% acrylamide, ~34% acrylic acid, and ~14% methyl acrylate grafted to poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMSe) surfaces were tested against zoospores of the green alga Ulva linza and the diatom Navicula incerta. The biofouling response to molecular weight variation was analyzed for grafts ranging from ~100 to 1,400 kg mol−1, The amphiphilic coatings showed a marked improvement in the FR response, with a 55% increase in the percentage removal of diatoms and increased AF efficacy, with 92% reduction in initial attachment density of zoospores, compared to PDMSe controls. However, graft molecular weight, in the range tested, was statistically insignificant. Grafting copolymers to PDMSe embossed with the Sharklet™ microtopography did not produce enhanced AF efficacy.
- amphiphilic poly(co-acrylate)
- engineered microtopography
- molecular weight
- poly(dimethyl siloxane)