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Volume 199, 2017
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Electro-responsive polyelectrolyte-coated surfaces

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The anchoring of polymer chains at solid surfaces is an efficient way to modify interfacial properties like the stability and rheology of colloidal dispersions, lubrication and biocompatibility. Polyelectrolytes are good candidates for the building of smart materials, as the polyion chain conformation can often be tuned by manipulation of different physico-chemical variables. However, achieving efficient and reversible control of this process represents an important technological challenge. In this regard, the application of an external electrical stimulus on polyelectrolytes seems to be a convenient control strategy, for several reasons. First, it is relatively easy to apply an electric field to the material with adequate spatiotemporal control. In addition, in contrast to chemically induced changes, the molecular response to a changing electric field occurs relatively quickly. If the system is properly designed, this response can then be used to control the magnitude of surface properties. In this work we discuss the effect of an external electric field on the adhesion and lubrication properties of several polyelectrolyte-coated surfaces. The influence of the applied field is investigated at different pH and salt conditions, as the polyelectrolyte conformation is sensitive to these variables. We show that it is possible to fine tune friction and adhesion using relatively low applied fields.

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Nov 2016, accepted on 03 Jan 2017 and first published on 28 Apr 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6FD00246C
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2017,199, 335-347
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    Electro-responsive polyelectrolyte-coated surfaces

    V. Sénéchal, H. Saadaoui, J. Rodriguez-Hernandez and C. Drummond, Faraday Discuss., 2017, 199, 335
    DOI: 10.1039/C6FD00246C

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