Nanodroplets with remarkable antibacterial and lubrication properties
With their low toxicity and unique antibacterial properties, gallium-based liquid metals (GLM) exhibit promising applications as marine antifouling agents. Now, the zwitterionic molecule-functionalised GLM nanodroplets were successfully prepared via probe-type sonication and self-assembled on-site with zwitterionic dopamine sulfonate (ZDS) ligand. The as-prepared ZDS-modified GLM (ZDS@GLM) nanodroplets manifested fine antibacterial properties attributable to the synergistic effect existing between gallium ions and the quaternary ammonium group in ZDS. Meanwhile, the surface hydration layer formed by ZDS ligand equips the ZDS@GLM nanodroplets with exceptional antifouling and lubrication properties. The as-prepared ZDS@GLM nanodroplets can be effectively blended with a self-polishing coating as a filler to synthesise a functionalised nanocomposite coating.
Potent antifouling properties
Due to the remarkable antibacterial properties possessed by ZDS@GLM nanodroplets and surface hydration layer generated by zwitterionic dopamine ligand, the ZDS@GLM-based self-polishing coatings demonstrate potent antifouling properties (above 50% E. coli and S. aureus; 65% Porphyridium were removed). Furthermore, the ZDS@GLM nanodroplets can endow the PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) coating with self-healing properties by means of crosslinking the uncured vinyl under the exposed GLM initiating polymerisation.
The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 169, August 2022.