The chemical wave

30 August 2013 - Making It move XIII

the chemical wave.PNGIn our continuous coverage of making-it-move: making-it-wave? Brought to you by Masuda et al. here. Objective: create a surface with hairs that collectively can do the Mexican wave as in football stadiums. From the instruction manual: take a glass capillary, clean by oxygen plasma irradiation, functionalise with ATRP initiator 11-(2-bromo-methyl) propionyloxy] undecenyltrichloro silane' and copolymerize monomers
N-isopropylacrylamide and N-3-(aminopropyl) methacrylamide. This leaves us with a surface covered in polymer hairs (polymer brush), the free amino groups of which are functionalized with Ru-bipy groups. Not by coincidence this group is associated with the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. A BZ reaction will take place starting at the opening of the capillary when a solution of nitric acid , potassium bromate and malonic acid is introduced. When viewed with a fluorescence microscope, the fluorescence intensity shows an oscillation. All due to a wave of oxidized ruthenium (hydrophilic and extended) in a sea of reduced ruthenium!