Polymer brushes are assemblies of macromolecules chemically tethered at one end to a substrate. They provide an alternative to self-assembled monolayers because of the intrinsically large size of the building blocks and the ensuing entropic contribution to the film morphology. In this article, an overview of a number of representative polymer brush systems will be presented and their potential application for surfaces with controlled wettability, smart surfaces and nanoactuators will be explored in some detail.
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