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Issue 30, 2013
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Alternative dissipation mechanisms and the effect of the solvent in friction between polymer brushes on rough surfaces

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Abstract

Surfaces covered with end-anchored polymers under good solvent conditions have excellent tribological properties. The friction between such surfaces is commonly attributed to steady-state interdigitation of the opposing polymer brushes. However, this conclusion tends to be based on idealized geometries neglecting surface roughness. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we find that there are qualitative differences between the friction of rough and flat polymer-brush surfaces. For rough surfaces the dissipation due to transient interdigitation and capillary- and shape-hysteresis is just as important or can even dominate over steady-state interdigitation. Having a mix of dissipation mechanisms that are all intertwined affects the observed friction force in linear-response as well as in the shear-thinning exponents and effective viscosity. Moreover, we find that the effect of the solvent viscosity is sublinear.

Graphical abstract: Alternative dissipation mechanisms and the effect of the solvent in friction between polymer brushes on rough surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Feb 2013, accepted on 09 May 2013 and first published on 20 May 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50491C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 7234-7241
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    Alternative dissipation mechanisms and the effect of the solvent in friction between polymer brushes on rough surfaces

    S. de Beer and M. H. Müser, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 7234
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50491C

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