Specific applications require special surface properties different from bulk-phase properties, which can be tailored by surface modification, which in many cases is more efficient than the modification of the polymer material. Surface properties of interest are:
- hydrophility / hydrophobicity
- acidity / basicity
Methods used for the surface modification include radiation modification using high-energy electrons, and the application of polyelectrolytes, polyelectrolyte complexes, and polyelectrolyte multilayers.
Dedicated NMR methods like solid-state NMR and electrophoresis NMR are developed and applied for the characterization of functionalized polymers.
Applications include stabilization of dispersions as well as flocculation, the modification of membranes to adjust hydrophobility / hydrophobicity and to avoid the fouling and compatibilizing fluoropolymers. A future perspective is the realization of functionalities on a nanometer scale.