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Issue 37, 2018
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Morphology of soft and rough contact via fluid drainage

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The dynamic of contact formation between soft materials immersed in a fluid is accompanied by fluid drainage and elastic deformation. As a result, controlling the coupling between lubrication pressure and elasticity provides strategies to design materials with reversible and dynamic adhesion to wet or flooded surfaces. We characterize the elastic deformation of a soft coating with nanometer-scale roughness as it approaches and contacts a rigid surface in a fluid environment. The lubrication pressure during the approach causes elastic deformation and prevents contact formation. We observe deformation profiles that are drastically different from those observed for elastic half-space when the thickness of the soft coating is comparable to the hydrodynamic radius. In contrast, we show that surface roughness favors fluid drainage without altering the elastic deformation. As a result, the coupling between elasticity and slip (caused by surface roughness) can lead to trapped fluid pockets in the contact region.

Graphical abstract: Morphology of soft and rough contact via fluid drainage

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The article was received on 30 Apr 2018, accepted on 06 Sep 2018 and first published on 07 Sep 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00884A
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 7605-7614

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    Morphology of soft and rough contact via fluid drainage

    Y. Wang and J. Frechette, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 7605
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00884A

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