Systematic optimization of poly(vinyl chloride) surface modification with an aromatic thiol

Colin McCoy, Nicola Irwin, JG Hardy, Susan Kennedy, Louise Donnelly, John Cowley, Gavin Andrews, Sreekanth Pentlavalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


The efficient covalent functionalization of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), which is widely used in medical device manufacture, allows an array of potential property-enhancing surface modifications to be made. To demonstrate a general method of functionalization via substituted (functional) thiols, we describe a systematic approach to the optimization of PVC surface modification by nucleophilic substitution with 4-aminothiophenol through control of reaction conditions: solvent composition, sonication, reaction time and presence of base and/or phase transfer catalyst (PTC). Efficient thiol attachment was confirmed using solid-state NMR and Raman spectroscopies, and the extent of surface modification was quantified using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Sonicated samples exhibited a lower degree of modification than their statically immersed counterparts (21.7 vs 99.6 μg cm-3), and mechanical integrity was compromised. In DMSO/H2O systems with a PTC, resultant degrees of PVC surface modification were up to 12.5% higher when caesium carbonate was employed as the base than in corresponding systems with potassium carbonate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Early online date21 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2017


  • Biomaterials
  • PVC
  • thiol
  • surface modification
  • nucleophilic substitution


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