I am by no means an expert in this field, so please be patient with my explanation. I am looking for a photopolymer with very specific properties. I am not sure how realistic it is to find such a material, but I will list the properties in the hope that someone can point me in the right direction, to help me narrow my search.

What I am looking for is a short chain monomer (hopefully no longer than $\pu{5 nm}$) that polymerizes in response to light (I understand a photoinitiator will also probably be needed), and has a hydrophilic head, to allow it to bond to my aluminum (hydrophilic) substrate. In the polymerized form, it has elastic properties, as well as a hopefully low mass to elasticity ratio.

A few things that I have thought of that could work include negative photoresists, such as those used for mask lithography, as they would demonstrate very small features (however, they may be too brittle), or 3D printing photopolymer (I am cautious to use the latter, as it is not made for such small dimensions, though it would probably work for the elasticity).

What I am trying to do is make a very thin membrane to rest on top of a nanoporous surface (where the pores are $\pu{20\pm5nm}$, that, upon being exposed to light, hardens to an elastic thin film.

I have more of a biochemistry background, but I would very much appreciate a nudge in the right direction, either via a repository where I could possibly find such a material, or through learning resources specific to this type of material, or, even better, chemicals that have similar properties to the one I am looking for.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Chem SE! If you haven't yet, take the tour and visit the help center. I'm have very little experience with polymers, but I guess an okay place to start would be the wikipedia page for elastomers if elasticity is important. Best of luck in finding an answer! @Jmeeks29ig $\endgroup$ – Tyberius Mar 19 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ So you want to graft this polymer from/onto your surface? And actually you want no polymer, but a crosslinked polymeric surface? Perhaps a photocrosslinkable surfactant? $\endgroup$ – Karl Mar 19 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius - Thanks I appreciate it, I will look into that! $\endgroup$ – Jmeeks29ig Mar 20 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Karl - interesting! Is the reason you mention a surfactant because that is what would allow the material to graft to the aluminum, with its polar end, and then cross link on the non-polar end? $\endgroup$ – Jmeeks29ig Mar 20 at 0:23
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    $\begingroup$ That's what I was thinking. $\endgroup$ – Karl Mar 20 at 21:07

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