UV-Triggered Polymerization, Deposition, and Patterning of Plant Phenolic Compounds

Farid Behboodi-Sadabad, Huijie Zhang, Vanessa Trouillet, Alexander Welle, Nicolas Plumeré, Pavel A. Levkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Plant-derived phenolic compounds, rich in catechol and pyrogallol moieties, can form multifunctional coatings on various substrates following polymerization under mildly alkaline conditions. Despite many appealing features of such coatings, the difficulty to control polymerization of phenolic compounds spatially and temporally limits their number of potential applications. In this study, it is demonstrated that UV irradiation can trigger oxidative polymerization and deposition of plant-derived phenolic compounds, which opens the possibility to create 2D gradients and patterns of polyphenol coatings and control this polymerization temporally. UV–vis spectroscopy, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and cyclic voltammetry analyses are used to investigate the UV-induced polymerization of several plant-derived phenolic compounds including pyrogallol, tannic acid, caffeic acid, and gallic acid. Formation of polyphenol coatings on polar and nonpolar substrates after UV irradiation has been studied using water contact angle measurements, atomic force microscopy, time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The possibility to use UV-light to accelerate polymerization of phenolic compounds and perform micropatterning can extend the scope of potential applications of the large class of structurally diverse plant-derived phenolic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700127
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number22
StatePublished - 13 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • UV-induced polymerization
  • photopatterning
  • plant phenolics
  • polyphenol nanocoating
  • surface modification


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