This paper demonstrates the ability to control the location of polymer deposition onto porous substrates using vapor phase polymerization in combination with metal salt inhibitors. Functional polymers such as hydrophobic poly(1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorodecyl acrylate), click-active poly(pentafluorophenyl methacrylate), and light-responsive poly(ortho-nitrobenzyl methacrylate) were patterned onto porous hydrophilic substrates using metal salts. A combinatorial screening approach was used to determine the effects of different transition metal salts and reaction parameters on the patterning process. It was found that CuCl(2) and Cu(NO(3))(2) were effective at uniformly inhibiting the deposition of all three polymers through the depth of the porous substrate and along the entire cross section. This study offers a new and convenient method to selectively deposit a wide variety of functional polymers onto porous materials and will enable the production of next-generation multifunctional paper-based microfluidic devices, polymeric photonic crystals, and filtration membranes.
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