Marine mussels use catechol-rich interfacial mussel foot proteins (mfps) as primers that attach to mineral surfaces via hydrogen, metal coordination, electrostatic, ionic, or hydrophobic bonds, creating a secondary surface that promotes bonding to the bulk mfps. Inspired by this biological adhesive primer, it is shown that a ≈1 nm thick catecholic single-molecule priming layer increases the adhesion strength of crosslinked polymethacrylate resin on mineral surfaces by up to an order of magnitude when compared with conventional primers such as noncatecholic silane- and phosphate-based grafts. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that catechol groups anchor to a variety of mineral surfaces and shed light on the binding mode of each molecule. Here, a ≈50% toughness enhancement is achieved in a stiff load-bearing polymer network, demonstrating the utility of mussel-inspired bonding for processing a wide range of polymeric interfaces, including structural, load-bearing materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering