Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Antimicrobial coatings in which the active agent (e.g. N-halamine) can regenerate activity represent a promising way to prevent microbial cross-contamination. A reported method for applying coatings containing antimicrobial N-halamines is layer-by-layer (LbL) application of polyelectrolytes, which form N-halamines upon cross-linking. Prior reports on dip layer-by-layer (LbL) fabrication have demonstrated the potential of this coating technology; however, spray LbL fabrication would enable more rapid coating and represents a more commercially translatable application technique. In this work, dip and spray LbL methods were used to coat polypropylene (PP) with N-halamine containing bilayers consisting of cross-linked polyethylenimine (PEI) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). Further experimentation with spray LbL fabrication used naturally occurring polyelectrolytes, chitosan and alginate. Materials were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM), ellipsometry, contact angle, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, a chlorine content assay, and a dye assay for amine quantification. All methods of coating application exhibited a 99.999% (5-log) reduction against Listeria monocytogenes with application time for spray LbL taking less than 10% of the time required for dip LbL. Spray LbL fabrication of N-halamines is a rapid and inexpensive method to fabricate rechargeable antimicrobial surfaces.

First Advisor

Julie M Goddard